Life always happens in one way or another, and this time I sense major changes heading my way. The news keep coming, and messages from Germany and Mom have put me in some sort of a slump as of lately. It’s hard to be happy and carefree although I’m trying to keep some balance the best I know how to, to not trigger my own flare up. I’m still holding without the use of heavy medication and the pain levels are tolerable so far. I’m waiting to hear more details about Mom and to be honest, I’m scared of the messages and I constantly prepare for bad news. I know it’s coming and it did so yesterday. I felt strangely calm at first, as if I had prepared for this moment all of my life. I knew the news would arrive soon or later, and the only thing uncertain is usually the extend of the message. It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me yesterday. At work it was business as usual as I fought through sadness, guilt, helplessness, frustration and feelings of anger. I was glad when I could return back home to just be and lower the shield.
Mom is still in the hospital and it looks like she won’t be going home any time soon. Things have progressed since my visit and she can hardly walk. It was bad as I was there, but at least she was somewhat mobile. Still she believes that she doesn’t need a walker, and at this point her stubbornness, foolish pride, denial or whatever it might be that leads her to believe so is stirring feelings of anger within me. Her diabetes has long taken a hold of her legs and she lost a toe awhile back. She fell over a week ago, unable to get up, alone in the house, laying there for hours until she could pull herself to the phone to call for help, leaving her knees scraped from pulling herself over the floor. I have to remind myself of this mental picture as I question if this is the message here. How many more mental picture like these Can I endure?
What I know so far is that the doctors feel that more of her toes have died off and that everything has spread up into her leg. The chances are high that she might lose one of her legs or maybe both al, together. I feel it would be the beginning of the end and she wouldn’t get passed that. I feel the bitterness would consume her completely and rob the tiniest of joy from her life. From time to time I heard her wonder as to what terrible thing she has done in her life to be deserving of such punishment. Is it punishment or adversity? Have you ever met a person who doesn’t have some sort of baggage to carry? Sure it’s different when it comes to your own, but you still have a choice to make. We all have our suitcase to lug around and this is where she and I are a lot different. Where she is passive and is waiting for things to fall into her lap, I am much more aggressive and don’t accept the status quo. I create my future and I have picked up plenty of suitcases along the way. I’m sick myself but I have to take ownership of it. You choose whether you let it defy you or whether you say “I’m the storm, try me”. She never managed to do so and it makes me sad. For the longest I have felt guilty about it as if it was my responsibility to lead her to a better life. I still feel that maybe if I would have stayed in Germany, although I could have not controlled her illness, just maybe her life could have been a little brighter. And on the other hand I feel that we gamble a lot when we place that responsibility into the hands of others. I know I’m all over the place and I probably don’t make any sense here.
She is denying help from pretty much anyone, and especially me, it feels like. We never had an adult conversation, never had a mother daughter talk and life stopped with my Dads passing as I was ten years old. She never got over it and lost her soulmate. What could a ten year old possibly know and how could I be of any help to her now. She doesn’t know who I am as a person and while there is guilt on my part feeling that I took that opportunity from her, I do know that it was up to her as much as it was up to me. The house in Germany is stuck in a time warp from 43 years ago and time stopped for her. All this combined and more is where the anger comes in on my part and where I feel that I have talked about this for so long, warning her that this could happen. I even heard the nurses say “ Dear good Woman, I think you are taking this way too easy and don’t understand the seriousness of your situation”. “Oh just stop it” is her usual response as if something like this is so far fetched that it is impossible to imagine. The time has come and my frustration stems from feeling that I can’t help because she doesn’t allow me to. It doesn’t really matter if I’m here or there, what good does it bring if your efforts to help are denied? I saw it while I was there and all I could do is be there, enjoy the moments when you can bring a little relief and watch the demise happening in front of your eyes with your hands tied. It’s a tough situation and even tougher to do.
Somehow I feel that things won’t quiet down this time and a new reality is shaping for all of us. This time things won’t go away to buy more time, and it is time, which is the most powerful resource we have that is running out. For the first time I feel like I’m not going to be enough to help her and that I can’t do anything if she gives up the will to live, if she is not ready to listen and if she doesn’t want to accept help. It won’t work as long as she has feelings of disgust and contempt towards me. As long as she holds on to the past and her grudges for what she believes happened with me leaving her behind. Maybe things escalated after my last visit as I left again. I truly believe she had all her energy and strengths set on me staying and that dream went up in smoke when I left. I crushed her hope and her belief that this will ever happen. I don’t know how much more responsibility I can accept and while some things are within my control, others are not. I can’t be responsible for the choices that Mom made and her illness, it’s out of my control. It breaks my heart to reflect on the life she had, although I know that much was up to her and I have to respect that her decisions were what she wanted at the time.
The doctors found something in Mom’s blood and they don’t know what it is yet. The thought of it is not comforting as it allows my mind to go all over the place. What could it be, why don’t they know, is it so rare or unknown, what is going on? I’m preparing for the next blow and it’s hard to stay optimistic and positive at this time. Whatever it is, it’s something else out of my control and I wonder what I can do and how much help I can be in the future. Without a doubt do I have to go home. For how long or if forever, I’m not sure and I can’t see the future when it comes to that. I have doubts and I don’t think I can handle Mom if she loses the ability to walk completely. I know that I have to be there for her although I do believe that she is at a point where she requires 24 hour care. She shouldn’t be alone anymore and it’s not possible for me to remain by her side ever minute of the day. Mom rolled over in her bed, turning her back onto her visitors the other day. She did a few times and I have to look at it with different eyes now. I wonder if she is sensing something, if there comes a time where there is nothing left to say. When hope is fleeting and you are tired of fighting. When nothing makes a difference and the end of a life takes its natural course.