I am struggling today and most days lately. I tried very hard to be patient but haven’t been as successful as I would have preferred. I am dealing with an aging parent who is struggling to hold onto her dignity and each day she is more and more disappointed.
Her body is failing her. Her mind, her hearing, her balance, her bowels … everything is fighting against her she fears. She pushes back by standing her ground and not wanting anything to change. She insists that she can still live in her home. She can’t. Everything is changing. It has to, the world changes and we age. She has aged and can’t walk across a room without breathing heavily because of all of her years living with heavy smokers … she has COPD. She won’t even acknowledge the problem, although she does know she has a breathing issue in her mind it’s just asthma and her pump will help her through. She’s beyond that, well beyond that but won’t use oxygen as prescribed.
On top of all of this, she insists on doing her own grocery shopping. She has never driven a car and doesn’t have her drivers license so don’t worry, she’s not on the roadways. Do you know what it’s like shopping with someone who moves an inch a minute (slight exaggeration)? She blocks isles, oblivious to everyone else in the store. Has to talk to anyone who will listen (this is delightful to watch in all honesty, I love it). Her happy spirit is infectious and her stubbornness is worrisome. I am caught in a difficult place of watching my aging mother still in love with life and totally oblivious to its dangers as they relate to her limitations.
I don’t know what is next. I am certainly not interested in predicting the future. I am tired. Absolutely exhausted and I need a break. I don’t have the energy to take care of her and her home as well as my husband, my home, my dogs, my grandchildren and all that my life entails. She doesn’t understand and I am at a loss, being pulled apart by all of the demands. I spend my days making the lives of others work because they have wants and needs … the only pleasure I have left is making myself coffee, writing and cleaning (because no one wants to stop me from doing that). Wait a minute! I just noticed my life boat … coffee, writing and cleaning. I can do this …