Thursday, January 2, 2014

Does Anyone Ever Get Back to Normal

Normal is a word which I can no longer use to describe my life, but I am trying to get back to something close.  I lost my Mother on March 12 of this year. It's only been one month now, and it still hurts so bad, that I cannot call her or just go by for a visit. I have been busying myself with house and yard chores and even gone fishing a time or two. Something I had never done in my lifetime. Yes. There are a few minutes, now and then, that I can carry on without the pain swelling up inside of me, but just a single thought can bring it all back again. Mom was such a huge part of my world. She and Dad moved away in 1972, to an island down in south Georgia, and they remained there for 27 years. I wrote to Mom quite often, since phone calls were so expensive, and we'd send tapes back and forth, but still it was not like having her close, here in Kentucky, where I could drop by once in awhile. When they finally moved back to Kentucky, Dad was getting along in years and in bad health. That was the main reason they moved back. His family was all buried in Hardin County, and that's where he wanted to be buried, but we had no clue it would be that soon. They purchased a house in 1999 and Dad died in the Fall of 2001.That made it more important that I visit and spend time with Mom as often as possible. She was now alone, and she did not drive. Several of the nine children had abandoned Mom during Dad's dying, and that made it more important that I be there for her. Now, twelve years later, Mom was stricken with Dementia and Alzheimer's. She had already lost most of her eyesight due to Macular Degeneration in both eyes, then with the other two problems, her life as she once knew it was gradually slipping away. It started out slowly. She would loose things that she used all through out the day. Namely, her glasses and her cane. She forgot how to use her appliances. How to operate the TV and such things. She'd hear the phone ring when it really had not rung, but she'd jump up all through the night to answer it anyway. Many times, falling as she did so, since she was loosing the ability to get up and down without help. Many nights, on many occasions, when I'd stay over with her, she'd stir and ask me if I thought we should get the phone. I'd tell her the phone had not rung. She'd get frustrated because she felt she had heard it ring. Then came the pills. She'd worry constantly about it being time to take her pills. She was so afraid she would miss taking her pills. We had already divided her pills up in tiny containers and labeled them for her to know when to take what, but even that got confusing to her. She would nap quite often, and when she would awaken, she would be disoriented about the time, whether it be day or night. Since my one sister, Rita, and I, were left to care for Mom, during the last few months of her life, we now had to make the decision that one of us must stay with her around the clock, at all times. Five of the other children did their usual disappearing act as Mom lay dying. No visits. No calls. No Birthday cards. Nothing. Unless you count the one brief visit from one son, and then two brief visits from a son-in-law, who only came because he was a volunteer as an EMT. Mom would cry and pray, then cry and pray some more. Wondering and questioning us as to why her children were not by her side as she lay dying. This went on for a couple of months, but still, five of the children did not come or even call to see how she was doing. We had a dinner for the two brothers who had been communicating with Mom all along. Then on her birthday, Rita and I tried to make it as pleasant as possible for Mom. She turned 87 on the 30th of January. Still no communications from the five other children. We can only assume the hate that made them behave in such a way when Dad lay dying, had taken over their hearts once more. The sad part is that three of the children live 8 miles away and one live 3 blocks from Mom. What kind of explanation can one give for treating their parents in such a horrible way. Many times you see and hear them speak of God. Whatever God they are using that condones such actions as they have displayed, while their parents lay dying, is not the same God I worship. My God wants us to be respectful, forgiving, loving, compassionate, considerate, empathetic, caring. None of these things described the way they were treating our Mother as she lay dying. I'm sure they will conjure up all sorts of excuses as to why they treated Mom and Dad both in the way they did as they lay dying.
As for myself, although I grieve and miss my Mother every minute of every day, if I had it to do all over, I would spend several more months with her, even if it meant time away from my own home and family all over again ,and I'd  do everything humanly possible to make her life as comfortable and pleasant as I possibly could during her final days. I can truly say that for me and my sister, Rita, No excuse will ever be good enough for what they have done, nor will they convince me that they are Christians.I am hurt and bitter,because of the way they treated our Mother. I may heal, in time, and I may even reach a point where I can forget and forgive them for the pain they caused her,but for now,it hurts too bad,and I can not, so getting back to normal, may be impossible for me.

1 comment:

  1. I wrote this post many months ago, and I have questioned myself several times as to whether or not I should let it go to print. That in itself, should have been a sign. Don't. But I have sent it to print anyway.I want others to see just how complicated my Mother's death process was for me and my sister, Rita. We suffered along with Mom while she suffered through the last few months of her life, with things we could not fix or even help Mom to fix. The pain of seeing your parent in such distress and knowing relief for her was not possible through our hands, was so hard. We sat with her, prayed with her, cried with her. But the comfort she wanted was to have all of her children by her side, so she could ask their forgiveness for the pain that she might have caused them during their lifetime. Especially if that is what drove them away.Then she could die in peace. But Mom never got to ask their forgiveness. They never came to her side for the last few months of her life. I think she finally accepted that it was over, and in God's hands. She could do no more toward making things right with the others. I can only hope that things were made right in God's eye with all of the praying she did about it. God knows the life Mom had, and I don't think he would judge her too harshly for the way she raised us children. She had no example to follow and very little education. She had her Bible and her church to guide her through life, so no matter what others think, I truly believe God forgave her for the things she had done wrong, and accepted her apologies, even if others did not.