My sister died the year my daughter Amber was born (1982). My father died in 1991 so it has been just my mom and I for quite some time. Of course, I am lucky to have my girls and their families as well. But in terms of my original family it is just the two of us.
My mom has been remarried, to the OB-GYN that delivered me, yeah, that’s a little crazy, for over 15 years. She now lives in an assisted living facility in Denver. Her husband, Jim, is moving in with his elderly sister. My mom doesn’t really understand why Jim is leaving her. Although moving does make sense from Jim’s perspective as he can stay with his sister and not incur the cost of an apartment.
I am off today to Denver to try to get my mom situated and little more secure. Ally and Jordyn will go with me for this fast trip. It will be nice to see Amber, her family and for the cousins to get to see more of one another. Ally is seriously pregnant so it certainly will be her last trip before baby Kendyll makes her way into the world.
It is so much harder than I thought it would be to have elderly parents. My parents took care of me, and then we kind of co-existed side by side. My parents and then my mother were available if I needed them. But now she needs me. She has dementia and her eye sight is failing (macular degeneration of the retina). She gets confused and agitated. And the lady who would never dream of going out without make-up, lipstick and her hair done, has trouble getting dressed each day. I miss my mom. I am sure she misses her old self, too.
This trip will bring some hard decisions about her care. There will be papers to sign and things to change. In the midst of all of it, Jim will have his 95th birthday. If I am lucky I will be doing as well as he does at age 95. He bought himself a brand new Infinity SVU. He drives it proudly if not erratically. He is continuing on with his full life of computers, cameras and cars. My mom is stuck solidly in a new world that she did not design nor desire.
I don’t know if it is time to bring momma home (my home-not hers) to Texas. I could see her more and observe her care better. I don’t think she is ready but how do I know?
I know she is alone in an assisted living facility with no family and no friends. She is fortunate to have Jim visit her along with some terrific long-term friends/care givers. But is she lonely and confused? I think so. Is moving her away from her husband the right thing to do? I don’t know.
My mom loves me. She loves her granddaughters and great-grandchildren. She doesn’t necessary remember who any of us are by sight. But once we remind her, she gets it. I hope I can bring some cheer to her this weekend. And leave her filled with a little of the love I feel for her.
I pray that God helps me know what to do for her and when.