I can’t believe that Christmas is over. Honestly, I feel like I missed it.
My mom broke her ankle on the 25th and now my brain can’t wrap itself around anything but that. Mom missed Christmas too.
When I returned home late on Christmas night, my son had already pulled down his handmade decorations. It broke my heart and made me instantly teary to realize that our little family unit had once again been split apart on the biggest holiday of the year. I left on Christmas afternoon and my son just thought it was over. Makes me weepy, even now.
My mother’s house isn’t right for someone with a handicap. We learned that when my dad was still alive, but for some reason, we never did anything very permanent about it.
Even worse, when dad passed away, we actively discarded home health equipment and eliminated entry access ramps. Maybe that was for mostly right reasons. We needed to move forward and put the house back together, but it kills me now to see how much we need those things.
My mom is struggling to deal with this challenge. She is used to being very independent. Now, she is trapped in her house and at the mercy of family and friends.
I can’t be there much and I am both possessed by guilt and protective of the energy I need for dealing with my son. In a perfect world, I would probably have clones. I would have a lot of clones.
But the world is far from perfect. My mom is having a really hard time and so am I. I was tired before this happened. Exhausted, really.
When I got the phone call about mom’s accident, I was actually lying down. I had just drifted off to the first afternoon nap I’d dared to take in almost a year. My mom was scheduled to join the three of us for dinner a few hours later, but of course, she never arrived. Instead, I got that phone call and then I left to spend Christmas at the Kaiser E.R. At least I got to see my brothers. Hmm.
Tomorrow starts week three. Mom has a cast on her leg. There’s a hospital bed in her dining room, neighbors doing the laundry, and a steady stream of friends to say hello and bring some food. Mom’s sweet and nervous dog is discombobulated by the hubbub. And I am still tired.
I don’t know how to shut off the constant rattle of responsibility in my brain. Mom keeps telling me “don’t worry” and “take care of yourself” and “go, if you need to.” But I can’t do any of that. No matter how rough my day is, it always seems so much better than what my mom is facing right now.
She will get the cast off. Her broken bone will likely heal. She has already had a successful surgery. This situation is only temporary. It really is, but none of that helps with the present. The present sucks for everyone. Mostly, it sucks for my mom.
It’s hard for her to do the simplest things. This injury is exhausting, stressful and depressing. I’ve had surgery. I know how it is. You get defeated pretty fast. She has highs and lows, hope and despair.
I don’t know the solution to my own dilemma, much less to mom’s. My little family needs something good to happen. We three need a break, a respite from responsibility. I don’t know how to get that.
It seems that whenever we start to relax a little, like we did on our Palm Desert weekend, something happens to remind us that we can’t let our guards down, we don’t get breaks and life isn’t fair.
I’m not at my mom’s as often or as long as I feel I should be, but I am emotionally entangled in all of this. Daughters don’t turn off worry. Mind-blowing concern is part of the daughter directive. So I don’t know what to do. Part of the mommy directive is being awake, alert and pleasant enough to make math problems out of play-doh every night, without much argument. The two directives don’t work together.
I just don’t feel like I’m doing any of it very well.
And now I’m too tired to write.
Happy Saturday. 😐
P.S. A big, fat thank you to our wonderful friends, Michael and Jewyl, for cooking us a delicious meal and letting us sit in their beautiful new house to forget about the world outside for a while. You guys always make me laugh. I love you for that. 🙂