Sunday, June 17, 2012
The family gathering was on Saturday and, again, it was good to see everyone. On Sunday we went to church and my mother was welcomed with open arms. The thing I was most appreciative of was that everyone (both relatives and friends) was encouraging of Mama doing what she "needed" to do, which was be with me rather than on her own. One lady at church, when my mother did the "she's been away all of her life" routine, said she should be thankful I'm here now when she needs me. So, I feel like there was a lot of support for the adjustment she's going through and it was done in a loving, positive way......and better received coming from someone else rather than me.
She had one minor meltdown on Saturday evening. She went through the back bedrooms and opened every drawer, taking out some of the nice pajamas she's had for years and saying with a tone of sadness, "I never wore these." By the time she went to bed, she was in tears and I consoled her as best I could....but everything is inadequate in moments like that.
I think the difficult part of being elderly and facing the inevitable is the degree of acceptance that is required. It seems like every day there is something impossibly difficult to accept......vanity is the first to go and then there is an ongoing list of physical failings. One of the most recent for my mother is her sight. When she fell in the yard it caused her remaining good eye to hemorrhage badly. Almost instantly her vision went from 20/60 to 20/200. She has handled it better than I would have expected, but that single factor has made everything infinitely more difficult. She is to the point that everything she wants to do is a physical struggle. The smallest thing requires all the energy she has....and it's so hard to see. But, she doesn't stop and I admire the courage she musters. It's just a difficult time for her and for me.
I've had my acceptance challenges, too......the biggest of which is that there is nothing I can do to change the trajectory of this story....we all know how it ends. I've accepted that I can't be responsible for her happiness, nor can I change the past. I can only be me and do the best that I can. Life is good......but it's hard!
With all of that said, we've had some nice moments since being back. She seems more reconciled to being here and we've had some easy, comfortable moments doing ordinary things. We vowed to come back and rest but, once here, we cooked, cleaned house, changed beds, did laundry, cleaned floors, etc. It was like a purge! By Wednesday we were both wrecked.
My outlet for the week was to attend my "Eating without Meat" group. It has been months since I'd attended and in my absence it has grown so there were new people to meet and lots of delicious food to sample. I took a sweet potato pie. I ran across the recipe early in the week and did a "test sample", which we loved. It turned out to be the hit of the gathering.....people even came over to our table to ask about it.....who knew so many people like sweet potato pie!