Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I love to love you"

"I love to love you". That is what Mom said tonight as I was leaving her apartment.

We are in a time of peace and sweetness. Ever since we found that pair of Kenneth Cole shoes on sale at Marshall's, everything has been going good with Mom. She may be almost 90, but she is still a stylish woman. She was so pleased that we found these beautiful taupe shoes with just a hint of a heel. Every time I go over there, she is wearing her new shoes.

Tonight it felt like something had shifted in Mom. She was in a lot of pain. She said her head hurt her. It sounded like nerve pain left over from having Shingles. I insisted on putting some of her eye drops in her left eye. She seemed almost like a rag doll tonight...no energy, not really talking much...exhausted. While I made our dinner, I had her sit down and have a cup of coffee. She ate her entire dinner, but refused dessert...which is odd for her.

I helped her turn down her bed and change into her nightgown. After we put on her night time Depends, she walked slowly to the door to put her security bar under the door. I keep asking her to stop using it and she keeps refusing...saying it makes her feel safer. We hugged goodnight and had a good laugh about how stubborn she is and how it works for her. Then she said "I love to love you". As I walked down the hall to the elevator I had the sense that she could in fact be dying and that I would really miss her despite all the things she has put me through over the years. She is at her most vulnerable now and it is my job to protect as best I can while she makes her way to her death.

I drove off to my meeting upset about my sense that something major may be going on. Pamela suggested that she may have had a stroke...or just be upset that I am not going to be available for at least a week or more. I certainly won't be able to grocery shop or take her out for awhile.

But I will keep that picture of Mom standing in the nightgown I got her for Christmas telling me "I love to love you".

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When will this be over?

It is 7:30am and I have been awake since 5:00am. Mom and I had kind of a difficult time yesterday. I went to the store and bought her groceries for her yesterday and she was upset about that. She looks forward to the time away from the apartment zooming up and down the aisles of the store. I just wanted to get it done and not suck up my entire weekend with her needs.

She called me later in the day complaining about the frozen waffles I had purchased for her. Whining about not liking them and not having any syrup. I was just trying to bring her something a little different because she complains that her food bores her sometimes. I am just fed up with all her complaining and lack of appreciation for what I do to make her life easier.

She also asked me to drive to the Macy's in Lynnwood so she can look for shoes. I told her I have no intention of driving 20 miles so she can look at shoes. I took her to Macy's at Southcenter last weekend ...where she bitched and complained about all the shoes having round toes. The selection in Lynnwood is not going to be any different.

She has taken to asking me when she will see me next and then complaining and counting off the number of days until I will see her again. I feel completely smothered by her neediness. I am not Dad...catering to her every need. I have a job and a partner and my own life to live. I cannot for the life of me understand how she can still be alive when she is so negative and unhappy. A friend suggested that maybe her anger is what keeps her going. My partner suggested it may be the fear she has of dying. All I know is that I am exhausted with being her primary caregiver. All my brother does is come by a couple of times of week to take out her garbage and bring her a milkshake. Everything else is on me.

Oddly enough, I am looking forward to a little break from all this because it involves having surgery. I am having foot surgery on January 20 and will be on crutches for 4 to 6 weeks. I won't be able to carry all the bags of groceries to her apartment or help her in and out of the car. I need to have this surgery now, so she will just have to ask my brother to meet her needs.

The weird thing about all of this is that my brother is really her favorite. She continues to work out all her own Father abandonment issues with him. He never really talks to her or takes her anywhere. She gives him money every time he whines about his bills. She even gave him $2500 last fall. She said she would give the same to me when "you need it". Of course, that will never happen. The conundrum here is that I am the one doing all the heavy lifting with her...but he is the one that she really cares about. I think she just prefers men...and my brother looks like my Dad.