It’s done.

Well, mom has been moved.  It happened two days late, but it happened.  I dragged my sick self over to her house to help get her ready to move.  Then I got her into the car, drove her to the new home, brought her inside, unpacked her things and left her there.  Like she was an unwanted puppy or something.

God, I feel so guilty.

I was OK until we drove away from the home she’s lived in since 1978.  I had to work really hard not to cry as I drove her to this board and care home.  I described the place to her, reminded her of the caregivers’ names, talked about her room, etc. because she didn’t remember.  She said she was sorry for whatever she did to make us not want her any more.  I tried to explain to her that we weren’t moving her because we didn’t want her.  We were moving her because we couldn’t take care of her any more.  I also told her that as her daughter and health decision maker, it was my job to make sure that she was living the best life we could get for her.  And staying at home wasn’t the best for her any more.

I don’t think she got it.

So I left her there.  I gave her hugs and kisses and left her there.  With virtual strangers.  In a house that isn’t home.

You don’t have to tell me how much better this will be for her.  Trust me, I know.  I just feel as though I’ve given up on her or something.  Intellectually I know this is a good decision.  But emotionally it’s hard.

I’ll sit here and cry for a bit longer and then get up and calm myself down.

I don’t consider myself to be a religious or very spiritual person, but I found myself praying a lot today.  I prayed for guidance and strength.  Now I’m praying for peace.  I hope I find it soon.

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Moving Mom

Today is moving day. It’s for my mom, not me. You see, for the past 2.5 years, my sister has been Mom’s primary caregiver. It’s taken a toll on her family emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s become too much. And now that my nephew is having so much trouble learning the things he needs to know for school, and having emotional problems… I think my sister has finally realized that the family can’t do this for much longer. I tried to explain that this would happen in 2008 when we were discussing options for Mom’s care, but either she didn’t want to hear it, or I didn’t explain it well enough.

So, we found a place for Mom. It’s a board and care home 3 miles from my house. They have lots of experience with people who have dementia and Alzheimers. The residents seem very happy. We brought my mom and my sister’s kids for a visit. They all gave their stamp of approval as well. And today Mom’s moving into her new place.

I don’t think Mom totally “gets” what’s going on. She keeps thinking that it’s like a vacation or something. You know – only temporary. I don’t want to tell her that it’s permanent, but I don’t want her to think we’re abandoning her either. I know this is better for everyone. The level of care Mom’s receiving at home isn’t what it should be. The kids need 100% of their parents’ attention. My sister and her husband need to be a married couple again. My brother needs to feel like he’s allowed to go off and have fun, find a new place to work, and move out. And me? I just need to not worry so much, and to go back to being the daughter instead of the babysitter.

It’s hard though, you know? I cried making the list of things we would need to pack for her. I didn’t cry when I was actually doing the packing, because I knew if I started then my sister would too, and then mom would get upset. Funny how you can be strong when people are watching, huh? But I’m crying again now. I feel like I’m betraying Mom, somehow, by not keeping her at home. But at the same time I feel a bit of relief that we’ve moved forward and aren’t in caregiver limbo.

I’ll be fine later. And tomorrow. And the next day. But for right now I’ll be a bit sad and maybe cry some more if only so I can be strong again later.

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