Getting into communication
I am at my mother’s. I am watching my sister’s daughter’s dog. His name is Gibbs.
He has a UTI and possibly a kidney stone. So he has to pee “all the time.”
I am not a “dog person.” This is stretching me. And, I am hoping he won’t have to go outside before my sister gets back.
My sister took my mother to the doctor’s. She wrote up an 8 page document so that the doctor can evaluate my mom. This way “the doctor” can make the decisions and advise us what she needs.
She does not like what my sister says about “the lady.”
My mom does not want “that lady” to be living with her.
“I don’t need someone here. How much is it costing? It’s a waste of money. Why does she have to be here?” she asks me every day.
I try to be matter of fact. I ask my mom questions.
“I’d like to say you don’t need her, mom,” I say. “But what if you do something and get hurt? I don’t want to be the one who says you don’t need someone.”
Maybe that’s selfish of me. I don’t want anything to be my fault and get blamed if something bad happens. Or am I being smart? I don’t know.
I try to be “good” when I talk to her. I speak calmly and ask her questions so that she can make her own conclusions.
And inside my heart is breaking. Maybe because I’m thinking what if this was me? How would I feel? How would I like to be treated as someone who needs a “babysitter?”
My sister says that she would be happy if her kids got someone to take care of her if she could no longer take care of herself.
I guess I would too.
The problem is that my mom doesn’t think she needs someone.
“I don’t like someone being here all the time. Would you like it?” she asks me.
“No.” I answer. “It’s just that it seems that the part of your brain where you make good decisions is not working. You can say you won’t put the coffee pot on the stove, but when you want to warm up your coffee, you do it anyway, not realizing it can start a fire.”
“I only did it once,” my mom says.
“No, you did it at least six times,’ I answer gently.
It’s a circular conversation that doesn’t seem to get anywhere or give either of us any comfort.
But what else can we do?
I am trying to comfort her. I am trying to give her dignity. I am trying to have her know we love her. That we want the best for her.
I just can’t give her what she wants: her freedom and her memory back.
And I am sad about that.
So I’m allowing the sadness when it comes. Cause as I’ve said, it’s my mom. I don’t like to see her frustrated and upset.
And I am grateful to have her. I am grateful for my siblings. Even for my sister – especially for my sister (that’s a breakthrough). I don’t necessarily always like the way she does things, but I am grateful that she is doing what she does.
Selfishly because then I don’t have to do it.
I am growing in my attitude, folks, can you see that?
Trying to accept people exactly as they are, and exactly as they aren’t. That is my commitment.
And it’s not always easy.
Have a great day. More to come.