Thursday, November 19, 2009

Like A Poem I Meant to Write

Heading to DC to spend time with my mother. She isn't bouncing back - at ninety it's hard to bounce after a hip fracture/surgery/time in a pt rehab facility/ a grueling trip from Delhi N.Y. to Falls Church, VA /12 hours in an emergency room/hospitalization and a return to her home with the support of two nurse's aides. She is tired out, losing weight and has to force herself to eat.
My sibs and I have learned more than we ever want to know about how old,frail people become low priority in busy hospitals - and how critical it is for a family member or advocate to be present for everything that happens. My mother's children live miles apart and have grown even more distant over the years. We have come crashing together determined to make this time in mom's life the very best it can be. We realize we have never in our lives communicated with one another on this deep close- to-the-heart,this-is-what-I-really-think-about-life-and-death level. I am awed by them, my brother and sister, a former hippy mostly democrat and a former sort of hippy totally bush republican. Grownups who bring just the right measure of intelligence, compassion, diplomacy, humor and inyourfaceassertiveness to get the job done. Why am I surprised that I like them so much? At 58,59, and 64 we have some catching up to do. We don't call ourselves children. But my mom does. Proudly.

7 comments:

Tabor said...

Gee, you almost sound like you come from MY family...

Ralph said...

How wonderful--and typical of you--to get something truly lovely out of an experience like this. Thanks.

Finding Pam said...

It is nice when adult siblings unite for a grand person. May you enjoy this time with yourtd mother.

Helen said...

What a wonderful description of siblings, however different, coming together for the sake of their mother. You are so right about advocating on her behalf ... I never stopped until the day my mother passed away and will never regret doing so. You all sound like intelligent, grounded, neat folks!

Amber Star said...

I found you from a post you left on my blog about hanging out the laundry a long time ago. I remember having wet clothes everywhere when it would rain. It did wonders for our skin, probably.

I'm very sorry about your mother. We, my husband and I, have been having many problems with his parents. They both have Alzheimer's and it has been a real challenge for my husband to come to grips with it all. I wish you well and be ever so thankful for your siblings. When my dad had a severe stroke my half sister and I became real sisters. He raised her and not me, and it took me a long time to get her to remember I wasn't there when she would start talking about something that happened. Oh...look at me..going on. The bottom line was when I couldn't stand caring for him in the nursing home, I would call her to come take over for a while. She would do the same for me when she couldn't stand it another minute. He lived 13 years and it was finally bladder cancer that killed him. Bless his heart.

One Woman's Journey said...

Must be my family also. My mom passed away at 83 and that was 9 years ago. My thoughts and prayers are with your mom and your family.

Beth Niquette said...

Oooh, dear Lonely River--what a precious family you have. ((hugs))

God bless you, and my prayers are with you and yours.