Monthly Archives: June 2010

LIFE’S LITTLE SETBACKS

Oh… where to begin… First a little recap in case you hadn’t read my previous post.

On June 2nd,  my Mama fell and injured her hip.  This required surgery, a short hospital stay and then admittance to a nursing home where she would receive therapy for two weeks or so.  Luckily the facility is minutes from my home and I’ve been able to visit with her nearly every day.

If you’ve never had a similar experience, you understand the anxiety I experienced anticipating what it would be like to see a parent in such a situation.

Nursing homes, or the idea of them, stir up many emotions and images.  I can tell you that you’re probly pretty accurate if you imagine negative things like bad smells, lonely people,  and sights and sounds that are hard to see and hear.

The first couple of visits were real eye-openers for me.  I forced myself to “rock up” and keep my mom’s welfare at the forefront of my perspective.  Otherwise I could probly never have been able to return.  Seeing people suffer is something that tears me up.  So many sights that I’ve seen there keep haunting me and I have to consciously replace the images with more positive things, like the day we take Mom home to finish her recuperation.

I do know a couple of things for sure.  Number one, I pray that my mom never needs to return there.  Not because the care she’s received hasn’t been acceptable but because it has not been good for her emotionally.  There is no such thing as privacy or peace and quiet.  And there’s nothing like your own bed or real home-cooking when your body is healing.  Number two, I would never last a day in one of those places.  I’m not that strong.  PD and I have been discussing, at length, alternatives in case either of us are ever faced with the need.  I can’t even tell you some of the extreme measures that have been brought up, some in a humorous vein,  others, not so much.  Which brings me to a third realization I’ve had and that is this~ A sense of humor is not only desirable but absofuckinglutely crucial in the situation.

Lack of time is the only thing that’s keeping me from sharing this in a more poignant, informational and detailed manner.  I have a literal ton of things to say regarding the last 3 1/2 weeks, mostly emotional issues I’m experiencing but that will have to wait.  PD’s father had surgery yesterday and there are some things he’s going to need also.  Another story for another day…

Thanks for listening.

Advertisements

THE ROAR OF THE TREES

“Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword. On one side all is correct, definite, orderly; the paths are straight, the trees regular, the sun shaded; escorted by gentlemen, protected by policemen, wedded and buried by clergymen, she has only to walk demurely from cradle to grave and no one will touch a hair of her head. But on the other side all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course. The paths wind between bogs and precipices; the trees roar and rock and fall in ruin.”
~ Virginia Woolf, ‘Harriette Wilson’, Collected Essays

I read this earlier this week and when I did, it didn’t really sink in.  I was too distracted and busy with other thoughts and concerns. Something told me to go back to it and I just did.  And it more than sunk in this time.  I could have written it, with all that I’ve been feeling lately.  My first thought was, is this exclusive to women?  And the answer, I think is absolutely yes.

As women, we have the luxury of feeling protected for much of our lives.  I try never to take that for granted.  We owe so much to our men… our fathers, our brothers, our husbands, even our sons.  Not to mention all the other men who touch our lives…  And yet, there are times and situations where there is no such thing as a safety net or someone to “have our backs.”  There are times when decisions have to be made and situations need to be dealt with and it’s entirely up to us to muster our courage and our strength to do what we feel is right and necessary.  How we deal in those times are testaments to our character and either make us or break us.

I have witnessed some amazing accomplishments by women lately, in particular, in the case of my own dear Mother.  She recently fell and injured her upper thigh/hip. This required surgery and spending time in an assisted-care facility for rehab.  All during this ordeal, the “elephant in the room” which to this point has not been spoken of, but was the obvious fact that everything would have been made better somehow if my dad were still alive and here for her to lean on and offer strength and assurance.  Not only would it have made a difference to her, but to my brothers and my sister and I.  It’s a scary feeling to share the responsibility of the welfare of a parent.  If you’ve never been in this position, lucky you.  It’s daunting.  I’m hugely grateful to have a big family and to have the luxury of sharing the responsibility with siblings.  I can’t imagine having to deal with the decision-making alone, not to mention tending to her daily needs, both physical and emotional.

There’s way more I could say on this subject and what I’m feeling right now, but time prevents the saying.  The feeling, though?  That growing up is tough but that growing old is worse.  But I’m concentrating on the gratitude… that my mom is finding the strength to be awesomely amazing on her path, despite the bogs and precipices.