A yearning for something new

by mymothersbrain

Mom at the Bob Jones Nature Center butterfly garden last fall

I yearn for something new and clean and refreshing. Maybe because it’s spring. The trees in my yard have unfurled leaves and became the green shady masses I’m used to seeing outside my window in the summer. Some of the begonias planted in front of the house have returned, too, and the squirrels are chattering at one another in the trees. Here in the loft office, I hear them skittering after one another on the roof.  Maybe the change of seasons is what prompted me to change the look of my blog.

Or maybe it’s because I’m gearing up for a couple of weeks of Mom care at the end of this month. Caring for my mom is something I do willingly. It’s a choice. Still, the fact that it’s a choice doesn’t necessarily make the daily tasks involved in it any less difficult.

I confess: sometimes when I’m home with my mother, the hurt is too much to bear and it makes me seek escape. Mostly in books. After she has gone to sleep, I stay up late into the light with my e-reader and anesthetize myself against the pain by dropping temporarily into the fictional lives of others. Because I know what reality awaits me the next morning.

My mother’s incontinence is progressing. When I call her by phone now she always thinks I’m my aunt Blasa, her sister. I laugh, redirect her by asking what she’s doing, what she had for lunch or dinner. She struggles for answers, though, because she doesn’t remember what she has done, or what she has eaten. Most times, she cuts our conversations short for this very reason. Or maybe it’s because I speak too fast. I do need to remember to speak more slowly. Sometimes I’m rushing to get the words out to her before the one or two minute she allots me. Should she live long enough there will come a day when she can’t say but a few words to me. Then, our communication will consist of touch and facial expressions — caresses and smiles, I hope. While she goes through this confusing time, she needs to feel, above all else, loved.

As for me, I may not be able to change my life much at this point, nor can I change my mother’s path much. But I can do simple things to brighten my life. Walk my dogs. Have dinner on my porch where I can see the canopy of the trees. It all helps to remind me that no matter how narrow my life feels sometimes, there is a big, glorious world of possibilities out there, and I’m part of it.