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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Humans Beings and their activities, My Mom, GloriaV

 
A little sad tale of a human and her activities.
 
My mom has her schedule. Every day has to be the same for her. We were down there for Easter and I got this picture of her in my mind of just being alone as it shows here in the drawing. She sits by that window, watches TV, looks out the window and does odds and ends throughout the day. She gets her phone calls, makes her phone calls, reads the paper and gets upset about all the chaos going on in this world.
 
She lays out her food for breakfast, an Advantage drink, muffin with cheese or instant oatmeal, cream of wheat, whatever she feels like eating. She also preps her lunch and dinner and has them in the frig. ready to warm when it's time.
 
She goes outside with her walker and waters plants, gets a little sun and then goes and waits for the mailman.
 
At 5:00 pm or so she makes her way to the bedroom to watch her TV programs. She always says, "I may be alone, but I'm not lonely." She also says, "I may not smile often, but I'm happy."
 
It saddens me that she will not make a move to come stay with us. I've been trying to make her understand that it's for the best but she won't have it. She will not leave her home so we go there. It's an hour and a half to get there. The ride is fine but in an emergency, it's going to be difficult. She can afford to have someone come in at least 3 times a week, but she won't have that either. I've offered to go stay there with her, but she won't have that either. We go there when husband isn't working, the weekends. Sometimes during the week as well.
 
It's only me that helps her, buying her groceries, doctor's appointments, whatever she needs, I'm there.
 
She says, "When it's time, I'll let you know and you can come." She actually does well, but still I worry and feel sad that she insists on living alone like this. So this is a drawing of a human and their activities. Unfortunately it's my mom.





14 comments:

  1. You are right, Gloria, it is a sad story. We went through the same thing with my mum, years ago. She lived in the country, so she did have helpful neighbours who visited her to chat, but all day she sat back in her armchair with her little Yorkie dog sitting on her bosom. She would not come to live with or near us, and when we took a box of groceries etc, she would later she would tell me on the phone that she had given them away to the nice neighbours. When we visited - like you a long journey - she would keep worrying about the trip back and keep telling us to go because it was a long way. This went on and on. Eventually, when she climbed on a chair to reach something she fell and broke her hip. When she came out of hospital the Social Services just put her straight into an old folks home without informing any of us in the family. She hated it, but it could not be changed. Her house was sold to pay the fees, which was so sad because she always said she wanted to die in her own home. So treasured, so independent ….. and the trouble is I know that I am just like her, independent and awkward, though our daughter lives just across the road from us.
    So I found your story very touching, and the painting you used to illustrate the story really tugged at my heart strings. Very powerful, and thank you for sharing it with us.

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  2. Well, bless your mother's heart. Obviously she relishes her independence and is satisfied with her life as it is (for now) and she knows there will come a time when she can't do it any longer and will call you. Like Jez this stirred up memories for me too. We realized my mom, who'd been living in an adult community (own apartment, communal eating/activities) where many of her life long friends lived too, was suffering increasing dementia and was no longer really able to care for herself. So she came to live with us. It was a difficult year and a half as we watched her mind slip away. This once very intelligent, lover of books, who was still hail of body (she had fallen at her place of residence, broken her leg, but it healed and she was hail and hardy once more. Her spirit was good. But still she was no longer the woman she once was. The end came suddenly one night, her heart just gave out. My mother's lament was always "I don't want to be a burden!"
    I'd like to say she wasn't, but it did change our lives radically. I'm glad now I did it. I wonder which of my kids would do it for me. Or what sort of place I'll wind up in. Not a pleasant thought. I too, like your mom, Gloria want to live in my own home for as long as I am able.

    Your drawing of mom in her surroundings is very touching.

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  3. This is very touching. In one way it is sad, but in another way it is a story of spirit and contentment. I know having their own independence is so important to people, and it is very hard to give that up. Hopefully when she realized that she can't handle things by herself any more she will let you know. Try to treasure the days that you are able to visit her. I am sure she treasures them. Both of my parents passed away much too early and had been living up in Maine with my sister. I did a lot of driving between NY and Maine...and just wish I could still do it and see them. Aging is not an easy thing on the person aging or the people that love them.

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  4. Oh my,,,, ladies of PPP&P, how kind and understanding you all are. I so appreciate what you have said and it does take a little of the guilt away from me. Thank you Joan, Lynn and Jez, you've eased my heart a little. It looks like we all have gone through this and really I feel in my heart that it is the responsibility of the children to care for their parents for as long as they can. After all, it was the parents who took care of us as we were growing up, now we take care of them. Thank you very much for your kind words.

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  5. What a difficult time for you and your family. Wanting to look after your mum, but her wanting to be independent. A few years ago I had an Auntie who we helped a lot, moved her near to us (twice) and watched out for her, but she still wanted to be on her own. As I get older, I realise that it is their choice, what they want. All we can do is let them know we are there for them and hopefully, if needed, they will call. Your drawing of your mum in her house, touched a cord with me...wishing you and yours all the best at a time like this.

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    1. Thank you Ann. Me too, as I get older I may very well do the same. I am independent as well and dread the idea of someone doing my things for me:( Yes and in fact this morning on the phone, I did say to my mom that I am here for her if she needs me for anything. Thanks Ann.

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  6. Hugs to you Gloria. A very touching story and it gives me the goosebumps when I saw your drawing. I remembered my grandmother in this story as she has suffered from Alzheimer's and how everything changed for us. Looking back as we don't understand her situation we were very stressed out yet bearing it. And she would always do her thing but unlike your mom she would break things and say nasty words. That's how horrible it is when our minds don't know what we are doing anymore. Your mom is having her own moment.. and she surely appreciates your family's concern and help and like any mothers doesn't want you all to be worried about her. What you are doing Gloria is beautiful and I pray for strength to overcome you, your family and your mom. God bless.

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  7. This touches me too. Almost too painful to for me to talk about, since I've seen various relatives do this, but I believe as the others here do that your mom knows that you are there for her, and that when she needs you she will reach out to you. Our daily rituals, our daily routines are such expressions of ourselves and we each need to find our own way. The love that we have for each other will show through.

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  8. This story is one so many people have to share. I can see it from both sides and am of the age when my daughters will go through the same dilemma. We all want our own lives and, although to younger livelier folks it does seem sad, I am sure your mother is content with her routine. I think as we get older we are content with so much less.

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  9. Thank you Elisa, Margaret and Fran. Your words fill me with lots of hope and ease. You are right that when she really needs me to be there, she will let me know and I will be there. Thank you very very much.

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  10. Your mum is lucky, when she has you and you are lucky so long you have her.

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    1. Time is going by too fast for us all it seems. Life just seems to be in control of us all. Thank you for your comment.

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  11. This touches me your painting. My Mom had Alzheimer disease and I looked after her when caretakers did not come daily.

    So you are special daughter to her. She is a Special Mom to you.

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    1. Yes she is very special. Thanks Sparkle.

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