On a practical level, I’m working on the details to get mom moved to my brother’s house in South Carolina. Just getting to that decision was pretty tough. But the most consistent thing we’ve been told by the pros about mom’s condition since the last round of hospitalizations, skilled nursing and physical therapy, is that the level of care she now requires has increased and her ability to do for herself is diminishing. Both her mental and physical conditions are progressive and will not get better.
She recognizes her own increasing weakness and agrees this is the best thing for a lot of reasons. Johnny and Lois are better equipped house-wise and work-wise. She’s lived with them before and with Lois being a nurse, she doesn’t suffer from my feelings of inadequacy when it comes to providing that kind of care. And most of all, mom says, the food will be a lot better!
Johnny is coming to pick her up and will fly back with her on the 15th. I’m going to start getting the RV road-ready and other business handled as soon as I can, and I will move there for a while to help out and be with them all. That’s one benefit of having a rolling home – I can take it anywhere. And it will be good to hit the road again, however brief.
Mom goes back and forth when she tells me who she’ll miss the most in Austin, and usually it’s the “kids.” But then she looked at me the other day and said, “You know, Malia, it’s you I’ll really miss the most – we’ve been together a really long time now and I can’t imagine doing without you.” That made us both cry and then started laughing at all the good times we’ve had together since she moved to Austin. And we talked about our travels through Alaska, Canada, the Blue Ridge, Redwoods and so much more. She often said she hoped we realized how much those trips meant to her. That Johnny and I made it possible by him flying her to where I was and me taking her in the RV. And she made me promise I would not give up traveling and get on with my life.
I go back and forth about my own feelings, which range from guilt to second guessing what I should have done last year or before we leased her house, and on and on with the what-if’s and I shoulda’s.
So on the esoteric level, I’m working on changing my attitude since I have such little control over anything else. I’m trying to keep a more positive outlook, let go of guilt and gather up some forgiveness of myself and others. Going back to church has definitely helped. Listening to Kit Holmes throughout the day keeps me reminded of a higher perspective. I just love her music – she’s like a spiritual Melissa Etheridge – and her song “Hold You in the Light” is a promise I choose to believe is true to keep myself from going crazy.
Sometimes I can go through the motions of organizing and orchestrating, but keeping emotions in order is a tougher deal. So another thing I’m starting is counseling with a therapist I met at church and connected with immediately. To say the least, I’m going through a lot of uncharted emotional territory at the moment and would appreciate having such an advocate who not only shares my spiritual beliefs, but she also has been caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s, so she can relate.
So despite all the sometimes confusing circumstances and events in my life lately, I also keep getting evidence that I am cared for and that I’m not alone. Angels and miracles do still drop into my life at the slightest invitation. And I’m consciously trying to keep my heart open and be as loving as I possibly can be and not continue to give in to the negativity and doom and gloom I’ve lived with for too long.
And I do believe in the power of positive thinking and I’m seeing it work on me … and I’m working on it…
Posted on Facebook 12/6/10