Wednesday, August 8

sweet burden

Long time no words....

It is hard to write when it is mostly struggle. You can see that we have sweet and beautiful times...thank goodness, we do.

But there has been more burden than sweetness these days. It is partly because Mom is losing ground, physically and mentally. My heart aches for her when I watch her try to move her uncooperative body as she tries to dress herself or take a step after sitting awhile. My spirit falls when I discover the results of her uncooperative brain when she has tried and failed to remember where to go to the bathroom.

There is lots of adjusting going on here. Both the adjusting of expectations and what we now perceive as "normal" and the adjusting of routines and coping arrangements. We now have a bathrooming schedule and are in the midst of trying out new technologies to be able to keep an even better eye on Mom and stop some situations before they begin.

It is all rather sad and tiring....for Mom and for us.

How do I get through? Especially as all my lovely plans for regular respite fell through soon after I last wrote of them? I am writing this from the screened porch with birdsong and faraway thunder nourishing my ears...and white sheets hanging on the line and the green apples peeking through the green leaves on the trees in the kitchen garden nourishing my eyes...and the buzzard flying so high and peaceful amongst the blue and white of the sky nourishing my soul...a glass of an iced herbal infusion nourishes my cells.

That is the sweetness.

The other part of the burden is being 53 years old and instead of an having an empty nest, finding myself with a nest filled with an adult I am completely responsible for who doesn't even know anymore that I am her daughter. Yes, she still knows my name and she is affectionate....but she doesn't understand our connection any longer.

And I am at a time in my life when I long for more freedom, not less.  

You know, I could go on and on...I have so much to explain and that I want people to understand. But the reality is, I've had to get up and check the monitor five times while I've been writing this (as its range doesn't extend to the porch). The last time I found Mom up and wandering her room and had to put her back to bed (the bed she doesn't recognize as a bed) I am going to end sooner rather than later.

And instead of writing I will try to setup the new camera that my brother researched and found and that we hope will allow me to be on the porch whenever I can be....and perhaps even the garden. So the next time a long-awaited rainstorm comes by, I can welcome it, reclining on the porch sofa with the monitor withing hand's reach....taking care of both myself and my mom.

And I will continue counting the days until my other brother comes to relieve us for a spell at the end of August.

And I will hope that the glimmer of the possibility of regular respite that was shown me last week will be fanned into a proper glowing sureness in September.

And you may be sure that I will go on knowing how good I have it, in so many ways, as I think of a friend who is dealing with losing parts of her precious body to cancer. I can truthfully say I would rather have the burden I do than that one....and I will continue to nourish myself as I am able...and speak my truth...and remember to breathe....and cry when I need to....and keep learning and loving and hanging on.



Bonnie said...

I found you here after reading Wisteris and Sunshine. Praying for those sweet times . Amy Carmichael quoted Samuel Rutherford in her book GOLD by MOONLIGHT: "It is possible to gather gold, where it may be had, with moonlight. " May there be much moonlight.

melissa said...

Oh Lesley, I know your heart was full with writing this post. Love the photos of your sweet family and warm home.

I am so sorry, though, that your mom doesn't know who you are. That has to be one of the hardest things, but you're amazing in how you just keep on going. I realize there's not much option, but it's wearing.

So glad you'll have a respite when your brother comes. You definitely need that. Take care, sweet one.

Julie said...

I'm sure this was a difficult post to write, Lesley, but please know that for those of us dealing with many of the same issues it's immensely helpful to know that others are struggling too. I feel like such a horrible daughter when I lose patience with my mother for things she can't help, or when I let my sister do so much more than her fair share.

Thank you for the reminder to treasure what I still have.

kkkkaty said...

Thanks, Lesley, for the you continue on and the seasons change yet again...and sharing your experiences with us so we can be of some support....lovely photos, as always...take care,

Anonymous said...

Dear Lesley,

You balance the beauty and sorrow of caregiving so well in your posts. Such delicious photos, and many words and emotions I can relate to.

I hope your respite works out this time. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to transition the work to your sibling who doesn't know all the nuances of your routine, yet I'm sure that challenge will be worth some much needed renewal.

Take care,

Gracie said...

Your mom has some very pretty rings I love state fair

I hope your mom gets well