I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mom's journey

There is a point in life when you realize that things are not going to stay the same forever. When my mother fell two weeks ago I thought, as before, that she would need some help for a while and then she would be all right. I was wrong.
This is the Rhaphiolepis bush that broke her fall when she tripped on the crack in the concrete porch . She was watering the plants and went outside with her cane instead of her walker. She fell into the bush and that is what saved her from more life threatening injuries. She suffered a couple of brused ribs, scrapes, cuts and lots of damage to her joints. She was and is in a lot of pain.
After spending a week taking care of her, I realized that she was not able to take care of herself, at home, even with the Elder Care help. She couldn't get in and out of bed, test her blood sugar, take her insulin, bath or sort her medications without help. She needed care 24/7.
So, my sister and I , with the help of the wonderful ladies at Elder Care, decided to have a quiet intervention with Mom and see if we could convience her that a few weeks in a nursing care facility would really help her. Surprisingly, she agreed and so last Thursday we drove her over to the care home that my Dad had been in; where she knew the people and liked all of them a lot; a small home with only 4 other ladies and a garden.
The first couple of days were hard for her. She missed the house and her cat. She didn't like the food and the other ladies living there didn't talk. This was the biggest adjustment of her life.

Our mother is like this old oak tree in her backyard; Many years ago a bird or squirrel drop an acorn near the patio and it grew into this beautiful Oak tree that shades the whole yard now. It's a safe haven for the animals and birds that come into the backyard. It's strong and it's a survivor just like Mom.

The house waits, quietly, for her to come back. Promises have been made that I hope my sister and I can keep. We will take each day as it comes and hope for the best. She is in a safe place right now and she has adjusted well this week.
The journey is not over. We are learning how to be strong and accept what is..., and I know that my sister and I will do this well because we are branches of that old Oak tree and Mom, and God, gave us what we need to "Walk her Home."
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  1. As I read your post, the tears streamed down my face. I can only imagine the difficulty you and your sis had in making the decision that you did. I saw my mother in your mother, as a fragile woman that was used to being independent suddenly totally dependent on others. It devistated my mom when that happened. In the process it broke my heart that I could not fix her so she could be her independent self again. I will continue to keep your Mama in my prayers and in my heart, right next to where I keep you. Hugs coming atcha Elly Mae.

  2. my prayers sre with you and your family that you Mom can return home. Hugs and God's blessings.

  3. What beautiful words you have written about your mother. I am glad she agreed to spend some time in a nursing home. I am also glad she has a garden there to spend time in. Bless you for being a lovely, caring, thoughtful daughter.

  4. My dear friend, what a sad & scary time seeing your mother in decline...keep all the wonderful moments in your memory & focus on them. "Feel" the blessing of having her so long to love, share & enjoy so many special moments in your lives together. As you know, I lost my mother when she was just 49 (ovarian cancer) & I was only 24! So many "missed" moments I would have loved to share with her. I KNOW your beautiful mother realizes what a blessing you and Lisa have been in her life especially now when she must feel so vulnerable & alone at times & when you can't be with her...I pray all will go well with her, you, Lisa & the family. I love you, Karen Y.

  5. This post brought tears to my eyes. My prayers will be with your mom, you and your sister. God bless and keep you all in his loving hands.

  6. wonderful said I like your mom already :) It is so hard when you have to become the parent to your parent... I have been my mothers guardian for nealy 3 years now and it has been hard but so much better for her... of course it is hard for her and I both due to the miles between us but the decision was made together that she did not want to move here and when she thought she might the cost prevented that decision form being made. anyway hugs to you both and your mom sounds like a total wonder!

  7. I am really admiring how you are feeling your mom's journey/transition. You seem to really know what she is going through and helping make that the best transition possible. Often I have heard friends talk of their needs and not tuely understand their parents pain. It is so huge for her. For you and your sister too. I love the image of the oak tree and the limbs. so powerful. My thoughts and light are with you and your family

  8. Oh how precious! Such a touching allegory of mom-the-oak. I dab tears as I add your mom to my prayer list. The house description (with gardens) and the charming above shot with the white gingerbread-trim seems very charming. I shall pray for her adjustment . . . any yours.


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