Most of the first week home in Germany was filled fighting with Mom. Hurtful remarks would surface here and there throughout the day and in hindsight I know that it was the pain and illness that was talking. It was tough as the jabs kept coming without enough recovery time to get passed the hurdles. The roles had reversed and I noticed Mom’s stubbornness lighten up in regards to previous memories. I remember here so stubborn that without a problem she could easily not talk to you for however long she chose. Now it was more like throwing the punch and within a few minutes commenting on the lovely countryside. A few times I thought she might have turned bipolar. Mom developed water blisters on her legs which resulted in open sores. Every other day, a nurse comes to the house to tend to her and wrap her legs anew in the hopes of eliminating infection. Mom has struggled with diabetes for many years and the medicines are causing her kidneys not to function properly. Further medication is suppose to remove excess water from her body, but she hates the pills as they bring on a sudden and uncontrollable urge to run to the bathroom. A few times Mom proudly showed me how low her sugar was and it wasn’t until I talked to the nurse that I learned the dangers of such and the damage that is done to brain cells each time this occurs. It was eye opening in regards to her strange behavior and flooded me with compassion and a much better understanding of what she might be going through.
It was my first Sunday in Germany as the pieces fell into place for me. I felt as if I had learned another lesson in regards to Mom, her life and how it ultimately connects and impacts mine. The tension was mellow compared to the past five days and for the first time since my arrival, the peace pipe was lit and burning a feeling of comfort into my soul. I want to inhale the magic as long as possible as it offered a beautiful glimpse of what could be, if and when all the crazy subsides. I didn’t feel all that well as I got up and besides the RA acting up, I felt dizzy and clammy. I slept late and was still yawning after I got up, usually a sign of getting sick. Hopefully that would not be the case, even though I was already sick in the sense of being sick and tired of fighting and arguing.
Our original idea to have lunch at a guesthouse went out of the window, due to eating breakfast so late. Prior to the fights subsiding, I had read that there was a flea market in the next town over. It would be a neat place to check out and a welcome escape from the low blows. That idea went out the window as well since the mood miraculously changed and I didn’t want to leave the peaceful atmosphere. This was what I came for, time with Mom and I wasn’t going anywhere. Who knew what the next moment would bring and if it wasn’t going to last. I was going to soak up each moment as one of my fondest memories and be grateful for the gift of experiencing the bond between us. I even managed a few minor repairs in the house that were simple enough, yet a big deal for Mom. Things went well, she saw the progress and end result and in return her trust grew which allowed for me to do these things. I felt like I was contributing, even if it was on the tiniest scale of making her life a little easier.
Mom talked a lot today and for the first time we didn’t just sit, side by side, starring off into the distance, without regard of the others presence. The mood lastet all day and it was wonderful. Thank you everybody for sending warm vibes and energy for this to happen. You did it, and it was a day I will always hold dear to my heart. Besides the minor repairs, I washed Mom’s hair today and cooked another meal in the evening. This time went much better and I think she was grateful for a warm meal. We are not at the point she would say so or admit it, but I know and some things don’t need to be spoken. I found it funny and an honor that while I did the dishes and the leftovers cooled on the table in front of her, the remains were shrinking as she continued to snack and couldn’t keep her hands off of the delicious goods. I think it was a winner and while I was happy, I also felt a bit of sadness creep up, knowing that on her own, all alone, her meals consist of cold food and that she doesn’t cook for herself anymore.
The lesson learned today was one for the need of purpose. I have grown to be a independent and responsible woman, I have always made it on my own and I never had to ask for help to be bailed out of any situation. Not that I have been spared from those situations. Being gone for so many years, Mom knows relatively little from my life and remembers me as her little girl. A person that she could guide and teach a few things, while instilling values and morales. She never really got to see how these lessons turned out because I moved away. And although I never got into trouble on a serious note, she would not be able to see how these lessons unfolded in my day to day life. I feel that in a sense I took away that purpose from her, leaving her lonely and perhaps feeling useless and helpless. She never grew with me over the years of being gone and how could she have? She had her memories of the past but couldn’t join the celebration of lessons I learned along the way. I decided to play dumb and give her a feeling of purpose back. A feeling of contributing and being a part of my life, instead of being on the sidelines and watching her daughter play out the lessons she had learned over the years on her own. Without the help of her mother. Of course I had no clue initially if any of this was the case and if it would change things, but it did and the peace pipe burned all day while I never moved from her side.