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No answers, only questions (Part 1)

Late this afternoon, I arrived home from a three-day trip to Texas. This trip was not really for pleasure; unfortunately, my mother was recently hospitalized for a handful of things. Before she got out, my brothers decided that she would be better off, at least in the short-term future, living in Texas, where she could stay with my little brother and his family and have access to better medical care than what she was receiving in the small local hospital in her area. I went to Texas to spend some time with her and help her and my brother and his family in the best way I could.

I am kind of numb about the whole ordeal. For over a week, I spent an insane number of hours on the phone talking to doctors, nurses, and many relatives and family members. I went back and forth to the hospital, a two-and-half-hour round trip, a few times. A car issue, still not resolved, further complicated matters.

Nine years ago this weekend, I was riding in a truck with a friend en route to visit my brother in North Carolina. I remember very little about the 16-plus hours in the car with said friend and his shedding dog, but the one thing that sticks out is something he asked me, which was what we planned to do when my mother got older. I remember not having an answer, probably because I felt it was something so far into the future. Partly because I had no idea. Years later, I am still unsure.

I really like having my mother live just over an hour from me. Jordan and I are able to get away, have a meal or two out, and spend time with someone we love. And my mom has someone to drive her places, do various things around her house, and just to give her company. It was all good. Mostly. But now, it may never be that way again. And I hate it. About as much as I hate that my brothers and their families live so far away.

Bri, Jordan, and I live in a small house. We don't have an extra bedroom for my mom. So we cannot offer her a place to live as my little brother, who lives in a house about twice the size of mine, can. But it is more than that, really. I think it takes a special person or people to care for their parents in that way. Even though I was the child who has spent a lot of time with my mom over the past few years, that was at her house mostly, and for a couple days at a time. We had our separate lives. In different houses.

Just over two weeks ago, that is how things were. But they aren't that way now. I can be sad. Complain. Both of which I have done a lot of in the past two weeks. But it does not change what has happened or what will. And it certainly does not give me any answers.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Faith - I'm so sorry to hear that your mom is so sick. Let me know what I can do for you guys. Call me!
Barb
Sherri said…
I'm sorry to hear your mom is not well. These transitions are so hard - parents moving, falling ill, etc. Thinking of you.... As you know, I have my own family issues as well so I can sympathize. We still need to do coffee....
chris h. said…
This is such a hard thing, but you are fortunate your brother is taking your mom in. My mom still lives alone at age 92 and it is a constant worry. I would love it if she was living with one of us. Despite the other challenges that would cause, at least "being alone" wouldn't be one of them.
Facie said…
Thanks, ladies, for the support.
Barb, I will try to call you soon. I can always use another nurse's perspective (rolled into a friend).
Sherri, I can't believe it has been a couple of months since we said we'd get coffee. No, I guess I can.
And, Chris, yes, I am glad my bro has stepped up to the plate, though that has brought additional challenges. I admire your saying you'd love if she lived with one of you. I read about people who care for their parents and wish I could be/feel that way.
Mel said…
Facie, sorry to hear all this. You're never ready when it begins to happen. Maybe it's better that it happened quickly; my folks (older than yours, I believe--both almost 80) are going through the long, drawn-out decline and clinging (like Chris's mom) to the old life, the old house, etc. I wish you all well (and wisdom) as you navigate these tricky waters.

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