Sunday, May 8

this mother's day

Today, my mother's day gift is to do what I like. My husband offered a meal out and making a celebration out of the day with his mother and mine...but this is what I wanted. So we all slept in (Mom included!), then had homemade pancakes (from the freezer, warmed up) while watching the Sunday news shows. Mom joined us when she awoke and while she ate her breakfast, I went outside and picked some flowers for her. I gave these to her with a kiss and the wish of "a Happy Mothers Day". She was pleased, but immediately asked where her mother was. This is a common subject of her conversation lately and there seems to be no good answer...the truth makes her very sad (and she never remembers it), vague comments ("I haven't seen her lately either.") don't we usually go with we did today by bringing her attention back to the flowers and breakfast. 

I knew that the day wouldn't mean much to Mom....she doesn't really remember being a mother. And tho' she knows she is my mother (I think), she isn't motherly anymore and seems to find no connection to the stories I tell her of her life as a mother to me and my brothers.  And I knew that my eldest son was working today and couldn't come, since it won't be a sweet and celebratory day, it can atleast be a restful day with no demands. My loving husband is the main caregiver today, and now that Mom is napping, he and my youngest son are beginning to tackle a big garden project (mulching the paths) that will make me very happy when it is done, and I am spending a lot of time in my studio and online, researching a new project to keep me inspired and connected.

So I am finding the goodness to be had in today. But there is definitely a melancholy in the air. Tho' my mothering is the heart of my life, today, we can't seem to give it the attention we usually do on Mother's Day. This is an aspect of living with dementia that would be good to explore, when I am feeling more the energy seems to naturally go towards the person most in need (Mom), minute to minute, hour to hour, day to it takes alot of energy to go beyond that to what you would usually give your attention to. And it even takes alot of energy, I find, to ignore those needs (when it is safe) and distract myself from it all. But we are learning to balance Mom's needs and our own. As I typed this last paragraph, I have been watching Mom on the monitor. She woke up early from her nap, just before the menfolk went outside, but my husband encouraged her to go back to sleep and she seemed glad to. But as often happens, something drives her to get up , tho' she loves to sleep. I just peeked in the house and watched her walk through it and see out the kitchen window that her son-in-law and grandson are working in the garden. Now she is sitting at the kitchen table, staring into space (her default activity), and my heart is touched and I know I will be typing one last sentence or two and going to rescue her from her emptiness. Perhaps it is not too cold for her to come sit with me on the porch while we watch the mulch going in, perhaps the wifi will reach out there and I can continue my research...probably not, tho'. Perhaps it will seem fine to spend some time just sitting side-by-side for a little while. I hope so.

As it turned out, after we watched the beautiful work being accomplished in the garden for a few
short minutes, Mom closed her eyes and I just left her resting on the chaise. It may not last long, but I am going to enjoy another little while in my studio. All day, and as I have been writing this, I have been thinking of all of you who are mothering mothers...and how hard it can make a day like today...and all of the days that aren't Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday in the UK) for that matter, and I am sending you love.