Mom’s Day

Yesterday, I visited Mom with my son in tow. We brought bird food for her feeders, a new phone since we thought something was wrong with her other one, and lunch. I begrudgingly visited with “Jack” as well because what else can I do? I’m pretty sure he was high and I tried not to make too much eye contact. My son chatted with him for a  few minutes (my boy doesn’t know everything that has happened but *does* know the basics) then I gave the boy a plate of food and sent him into the living room with my mom.  We all ate, chatted and discussed Mom’s cat. She doesn’t talk about much else, so trying to have a conversation about other things can be difficult. But the visit was fine. Nothing like visits used to be, but life is different now. Before Alzheimer’s, I would visit Mom for several hours and not even realize it. Now I check the clock and stretch out the time to at least an hour, although I am often ready to leave after 10 minutes.

Today, since Mom’s phone line is acting up, I couldn’t call her. I decided that it was really ok.  I visited yesterday. I did my daughterly duty.

That sounds shitty, doesn’t it? Yeah, it does, but I think I’m ok with it. I have to be. I still love my mom, but the mother I knew hasn’t been there for several years. I miss her.

I’ve realized in the past few months that I’m not very good at separating the disease from the person. Sometimes I get so mad at what Mom does or says, but that isn’t Mom. My sister has been good about distinguishing between the two and trying to help me see the difference. Maybe I’ll get there someday, but for now, I think I have to distance myself from the entire situation.  I did send in the guardianship papers, which will change our relationship on paper, but it won’t change much in reality. I’ve already been her parent for a few years and now, if it goes through, I’ll be her parent on paper, too.

So, today, instead of worrying about Mom, I celebrated my own motherhood. My husband made me these fantastic gluten-free blueberry pancakes with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on the side. I took a 2-mile walk/jog with my son, I watched the movie “The Shape of Water”, then I went for two more walks interspersed throughout the day. (The boy was supposed to go on another 2-mile walk with me as the rest of my Mother’s Day gift, but in exchange for getting out of that, he has to do an extra walk with me next weekend AND he gave up his allowance this week.)  This might have been the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. I felt like I was on vacation. I ate what I wanted, felt very relaxed, and just tried to enjoy myself. Something I really haven’t done in a long, long time.

If you’re reading this and are a mom, I hope your day was a good one, too. If you’re reading this and you still have your mom, I hope you were able to celebrate her somehow. And if you’re reading this and you miss your mom,  I hope you thought good thoughts about her today. Try to remember the love. ❤

alzlove

 

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Control

“So….why are you mopping all the floors on Mothers’ Day?” my husband asked.

Some of you might not know this about me, but….I’m a bit of a control freak. Shocking, I know! 😉   Before my son was born, I had a cleaning calendar posted on my kitchen wall. I followed it religiously. Dust on Thursday? Done.  Mop the kitchen floor on Saturday? Absolutely. I wanted my new house to look and smell as new and clean as possible.

Three years later, I gave birth to my beautiful boy.

And my house has never been clean again.

Ok. That’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.   Control over my domain was gone. I had new responsibilities and a sparkling kitchen was no  longer a priority.  And seven years later, with the messes increasing exponentially due to my kiddo, cleaning is still not a priority.  Weekends are about doing things together, going to sports practice, spending time with other family and running.  I’m more than ok with the changes in my life that my boy has created.  I still want a clean and tidy house, so I clean when I can, and rope my husband into helping me occasionally and now my son can at least vacuum.

But sometimes, like today, just those few minutes of sweeping and mopping and smelling that wonderful scent of Pine Sol, makes me feel in control for just a little while. It calms me, brings me a little peace.

I’ve had a lovely Mothers’ Day. My husband made me these amazing gluten-free pancakes with loads of butter and syrup, and I ate them with abandon and absolutely no guilt.  My son read me a story he wrote just for me about making special robots that would clean my house (this kid gets me).  Then we went shopping for running shoes, picked up a few items from the grocery store, then off to visit my mom.

If you’ve ever met my mom, you know that not only do we look alike but act alike. We’re both pretty anal retentive about how we want our house to be–I learned from the best. 😉  But my poor momma has had many illnesses and physical  problems in the last few years. The latest being a dislocated ankle and bone chips in her leg, which led to a surgery.  Everything went well, but now she has a cast on her skinny little leg, all the way up to her thigh.  She can’t put any weight on it and has to use crutches.  She’s basically homebound until the end of the month when they’ll put a walking cast on her leg.   In a word?  She’s miserable.  But her spirits have been higher with this incident than others in the past and she’s trying not to get discouraged. (In the past 4 years, she’s broken both of her hips, too.)  She likes to say that when she’s feeling down, she thinks of her kids and her grandchildren and it picks her right up.  She’s lovely, isn’t she?

cast

So today, when Briar and I went to visit my mom, we brought markers and stickers to decorate her cast.  She was ecstatic to see us.  Lunch was in the fridge, so I got things ready while Mom & Briar chatted.  I looked around at her home, and I knew things were not quite how she wanted them.  So after we ate, I swept the kitchen floor, did the dishes and offered to vacuum the rugs.  She refused my offer, but we chatted about how we like things a certain way.  Her boyfriend has helped her a great deal, but it’s the little things that can drive you nuts.  Or at least drive *us* nuts.  Like leaving the laundry basket in the living room instead of putting it back.  So I moved the basket back where it should be.

I tried to make things just a little bit better for her so she feels like she has at least a smidge of control over her life.

When I got back to my house,  I looked at my kitchen and bathroom floors.  I had been thinking about going for a short run, but instead I swept and mopped the floors.

I needed to feel like everything was right with the world, if only for a day….or at least an hour. 🙂