Wednesday, February 18, 2004

When I saw Mom last, on Saturday, we didn’t go out, but I was there for 2.5 hours visiting*. She was in very good spirits. Earlier in the day, not feeling well, but was about to go to supper when I left. No, not bad at all. I’m very encouraged by her demeanor all around. Her biggest concern is that she vacillates between fear and anger about being forgotten by us. She feels she is a burden, but at the same time doesn’t want to have to beg for our attention. Although I haven’t been through what she’s going through, it’s easy to imagine that it would be tough. At this vulnerable time in her life, it’s not surprising she needs more support than ever…

*During my visit, Mom compared caring for her mother with her own situation now. Although I lived through it with her, it was helpful when she reminded me how her and Aunt Pat decided to jointly care for Grandma once Grandma couldn't be on her own. Mom had Grandma spring to fall, and Aunt Pat from fall to spring. It was as fair as they could arrange it.

Towards the end of Grandma's life (1973 or so), she entered a nursing home. Mom said, "I have never forgotten or forgiven Pat for what she did." I blinked, a dim memory of hearing this before in the back of my brain. "Never forgotten or forgiven what, Mom?" "What she did to Grandma."

She went on to explain that Aunt Pat drove up to Hallock one day to have Dr. Larter look at Grandma, left her there, and went home. Dr. Larter called Mom and asked, "What are you going to do about your Mother?" She had to learn from Dr. Larter what had transpired to this point since she had not be called by Aunt Pat. "She was left sitting in her chair in the hallway of the hospital," Mom told me. After learning the circumstances, it was arranged for Grandma to enter the nursing home. Paperwork had to be taken care of by Mom later. As you might imagine, Mom was not amused at having this dumped in her lap, as she called it. She didn't resent her mother, nor helping her, but it was how it happened. As you also might imagine, loving her sister as she did and does, she hasn't stopped loving her. But, Mom is Irish, and she has a looong memory!