In early September, 2017, I wrote a post called, “I held my mother’s hand today”. I talked about my mother and my experience as we began dealing with the aging process. Things had begun to slow down and at almost 80 years old, it can be expected. Now we have turned the page in that book.
My mother spent almost the entire month of February in ICU and rehab. She was quite ill and very weak. This past weekend she came to live with us. My mother is somewhat unstable on her feet and uses a walker. I have an office and a full bath on the first floor that works out great. Now share this space.
Some would think this is a hardship, a life changer, and a loss of independence and privacy. It is. For her, not me. But we are going to try to get that back for her.
The child has now become the mother. The mother now in need of assistance. My friends, I know you too have been here. You are the caretaker, the nurse and the pill dispensary. Yet, when I hear her voice on the baby monitor calling for me in the night to use the bathroom, my heart breaks. I know one day I will miss hearing her voice, in any capacity. And I am going to wish I could hear it one more time. So, when she calls, we go, no matter what time it is, no matter how tired we are. She did it for me and my kids and I am going to insure she has the best care we can give.
I see her when she is sleeping, so small and frail. I think about how formidable she was when she was actually over 5-feet-tall and wielding that wooden spoon. (She told them at Sunnyview Rehab that she was 5’6”.) This was the person that once looked me in the eye…ok, so maybe not in the eye. She is only 4’ 10”.
So how is our household getting along? Izzy is happy, she has a napping buddy. Jack is happy because my mother defends him every time I chastise him for not making his bed and being late for work. Same holds true for my wonderful husband. Chip can do no wrong. Typical Italian grandmother. This Italian thing is killing me. Amelia is due home for spring break in a week. Look out.
But how lucky am I that I can sit and have lunch with her? How happy am I that I can make her favorite foods as she puts up a fuss that I shouldn’t go to any trouble?
I don’t know how this is all going to pan out and my control freak nature is totally out of joint right now. The fact that we got her to go to the hospital in the first place is a miracle. She hadn’t been to the doctor since 1966 when my sister was born.
Right now, it is up to the Gods above who watch over little old Italian ladies. I’m sure they are in heaven right now, sitting on a sofa with plastic cover on it, sipping a cappuccino and eating a cannoli pondering the questions of life. One day, a long time from now, I hope they have a steaming cup waiting for me. They have some explaining to do.
I love you mom.
Author’s Note: the title for the image I used, as designated by the photographer is, “The years happen in the hand”. How true.
Well you did it again Miss karen. I had no idea this was going on with you and mom. It is a hard and difficult time for both you and her. If you ever need anything or to just talk, please call me. We never did go to lunch.
My mom was also never sick or complained. We all would say it was that genrration, and the Italian way. My mom was last in the hospital when she gave birth to my sister Marie in 1967. Anyway, when she went to the doctors they did all sorts of tests on her. The next day she was in the hospital with a mass on her lungs. She developed Pneumonia and went down hill from there. To top it off she had dementia, so she had no idea why she was there. My mom always had a smile on her face though. Everyday I would go to see her and her face would light up with that wonderful smile . What are you doing here? She would ask, go home I’ll be going home today. Well she never did leave that hospital, but she did go home where she is now with my dad and our Lord. The best part of all of this is that she never really suffered and we got to spend her final days with her. All of my siblings and me. Never left her side. We made her laugh, oh how I loved seeing her laugh. And we made her feel like the Qween she was. It was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. So, Karen, you are blessed to have your mom so close to you where you can take care of her and treat her special. And love her the way she loves you and yours. Take care my friend, and if you need me, just call.❤️?
Thank you for that lovely note. Your mother was lucky to have you and I am sure she will cherish forever all you did for her.