My keys have been quiet for a couple of weeks. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything”. I decided I best be quiet. I am trying to balance being honest and transparent and yet not saying things that I’ll regret one day.
There is definitely a learning curve involved when your mother moves into your home. There is a time to “push buttons” and time to “let it go”. I have decided if some buttons need to be pushed, then let my siblings push them — I have to live with this woman!
We did hit our first rough patch about 10 days ago. Mom got a little passive aggressive and sarcastic in her communications with me and my sister. She was taking pot shots at me. And under normal circumstances, when she is healthy, that is not like Mom. She may take pot shots at others, but she never criticizes her own kids or her grandkids. Ever. She is our biggest cheerleader. I told myself that over and over, but still, it hurt. I am not a crier, and my emotional state is usually well-hidden, but I was kind of a wreck by the end of the week. Whew. I need to get a grip — this may be a long and winding road, and we are only at the gate.
Thankfully, I was needed elsewhere for a few days (retrieving a college-age daughter from campus 700 miles south), so Mom was going to my brother’s home for a few days. I think the timing was perfect as we both needed a little reprieve.
As the trip was going to take about three days, my husband suggested I take one of our nieces along with me. She is in high school, and this college is on her list to visit. I said, ‘what? No, not this time. No. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to take care of anyone. I don’t want worry about anyone. Not this time”.
I took my time driving down, stopping at a couple of places of interest. Before leaving, I had downloaded an audiobook, and thoroughly enjoyed listening to that story. I stopped early in the evening and sought out a nail salon to get a manicure. Then I ordered a salad from Applebees and loved every bite in the quietness of my hotel room. Refreshed, early the next morning, I drove over the mountain to finish the last trek onto campus. After we loaded up her belongings and lunched with her fiance’, my daughter and I headed north. We took our time coming home as well, finding a couple of shopping areas and staying another night at a Holiday Inn. I was in no hurry to get home.
Mom must have needed a break just as much because she has come back into my home and settled down into a routine. She still talks about going home — a lot, but at least she isn’t mad or mean about it. She just wants to go home. She says, ‘I just need to live my life’. And I know she does, but I wonder if that life still exists. I don’t think she can ever go home and live alone. We’ll need to talk about this soon. The lease in her apartment is up mid-summer. Hard facts will have to faced, and decisions will need to be made.
Who gets to make those decisions?
Who has to make those decisions?