Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog 63: Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

Well, it was tough saying goodbye to my mom.  That was on Feb. 24th.  It’ll be three more months before I get to see her again.  When it was time to leave, I hugged my mom’s feeble body and told her I will be back to see her soon.  I told her I love her so much and that she is the best mom in the whole wide world.  I kept giving her reassurances, trying to make her feel better, even though I was leaving after so many wonderful days we spent together, and trying to make myself feel better, too.

That last goodbye is a heartbreaker.  I hate it so much.  I walked out of her room and the tears I had been holding back, started rolling  down my face.  I was hurting.  I told her caregivers goodbye and hugged them and thanked them for taking such good care of my mom.  I sobbed and said to them that this is so hard because I love my mom SO much.  I wish I didn’t live so far away.  They told me I can stay there and cry with them because they cry a lot, too.   

On my drive back to my daughter’s apartment I was thinking about what my mom said to me when I walked into her room that morning.  She said, “This is great.”  She was right, it is great.  It’s the greatest feeling in the world to be together and, apparently, she felt it too.  

I thought of some other things she said that made me smile.  She was biting her nails (which she never used to do) and I said she better stop because her nails are getting all jagged and she’ll snag her sweater.  She said, “No, I’m not.  I’m your mom.”  She actually referred to herself as being my mom.  That was huge!  

She said something kind of funny when she got a little irritated.   We had wheeled Mom out to the living room for a change of scenery.  After awhile we brought her back to her room.  Mom does not like to be moved.  She gets scared.   When the ladies set her back in her chair my mom yelled at them to leave her alone as she squeezed one of the girl’s legs.  She looked at the other caregiver and said, “If you don’t stop, I’m going to….(I was waiting to see how she finished this sentence.  She hesitated for a moment, searching for the words, and then she said her famous line) put you in jail!  I had to laugh.  That’s one of the lines my mom had used often, ever since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but it had been a long time since I heard her say it.  Renee was the one she most frequently referred to when she said those words, but she also said it to me way back when I was living with her and being her caregiver.  

I wrote words and names on paper and Mom recognized some of them.  She recognized her name, my name, I love you, and her address.  She was telling me she wants to give something to somebody.  I asked her who she wants to give something to and she said, “to all of the kids.”  She said, “there’s this place you guys should have.”  I just wish I knew what she was trying to say because she would often say things like this.  She’s got a message to give me but I don’t quite know what it is.   She had mentioned having money a couple of times, and I wonder if she was trying to talk about that because she used to always say she had money saved for us.   After she became sick with Alzheimer’s, we found envelopes of money hidden in a safe in her house.  There were five envelopes, with thousands of dollars for each of her daughters.  She took great pride in the fact that she was saving her hard earned money for us. 

I didn’t see any of my sisters when I was in town.  It’s such a long story, and one that I keep hoping when I turn the page, the story will get better.   It’s not though, so I don’t even want to go there right now.  It’s just too hard to talk about.   I will though, I have to write about what’s been happening. 

Some people have deserted my mom and that makes me sad.  When she asks about them it makes my heart ache for her, when there's very little that brings her joy these days.  She is slipping away and time is critical.  To me it's cruel and selfish.  I guess I just don't understand how a person can claim to care about someone, yet be absent when they are most needed.  They care more about what's good for them.  True colors are revealed during times like this.

Mom gave me some reassurances, without even realizing she was doing it.  She said “Lizzie will make it.”  She shook her head up and down and said, “We’ll make it ok.”  

Yes, Mom.  We will.  I have faith. 

1 comment:

  1. Mom... Your posts are so touching, they always make me cry. I think she sees things we cannot see now. Maybe she knows she's going to Heaven. Our Heavenly Father is showing her things so she is comforted. I love you mom and I am so proud of you for opening up and sharing your story with others. ~Rose