Roughest two weeks of my life. Mom just continued in her anger. We are not sure exactly what is going on. Is it a medicine side-effect? Is she just plain mad at us for not allowing her to go home? Is it dementia? So hard to know. I have never seen my mother exhibit anger like this toward her children. It is heart-breaking.
Last Tuesday evening, she was scheduled to go out to eat with my niece and her family. At about 3:00, Mom walked into my kitchen and demanded to go home. “Home” of course, does not even exist anymore, but Mom does not remember that. I calmly reminded her that she had dinner plans. She then stated she would be going home from dinner then: ‘I am not coming back!’ Sigh I did not answer her; no reason to pick a fight. But shortly after that conversation, she began to pack up every single thing she owns. She folded clothes into laundry baskets and put shoes into grocery bags. It didn’t take her long, and before I could actually think of a plan B, she had emptied every drawer and closet.
She was practically giddy for the last 30 minutes while we waited for her dinner date. Wow — such a personality change. Hmm, so she can control it. In the midst of all this activity, I had received texts from my siblings that Mom would stay the night with my brother (niece’s dad) and then head to my sister’s for a few days. She left happy as a lark and I was bawling like a baby. She thought she was going home, and I knew she was headed to yet another kid’s home. Seemed like the ultimate betrayal.
A little side story from over the weekend: For those of you who have read previous posts, you know my Mom lives to golf. That was her ultimate health goal: To be able to get back on the golf course. My sister’s husband is a golfer, and since Mom wasn’t mad at him, he offered to take her golfing. They played nine holes. Nine holes!! And she beat him. Are you kidding me? I know my mother is a strong woman — and a stubborn woman — but she had something to prove that day. But, wow. Nine holes! Thank goodness my bro-in-law is a good sport!
Mom was angry for the four days she was at my sister’s home — barely talking to my sister. It is extremely challenging for anyone to live in that kind of environment. Enough said about that. We can talk about “why” forever, and still never know. We’ll just blame the disease and give Mom the benefit of the doubt. Who is this woman? How many times have I said that during this journey?
A week has passed since she left my home. And in that time, we have moved Mom into an Assisted Living apartment 3 blocks from my sister’s home. My sister had already laid all the ground work for the facility; Mom’s insistence on leaving my home only accelerated the move. Sunday was the hardest day of my life. I may write more about that some time, but for now the emotions are too fresh, and raw, and too close to the surface to blog about it. Some day, maybe.
The apartment is in an amazing facility. There is much offered and people actually want to live there. It is not “home” yet. And Mom is still very mad at her children. However, she is talking and engaging with the staff. Not so much with residents yet (baby steps are okay). My sister found out she signed up for a water-color class. Seriously? Wow. So we are 2 days into this dramatic move, and I see a glimmer of hope.
However, I’m not sure my mother will ever talk to me again. When I kissed her good-bye on Sunday, her last words to me were, ‘I didn’t think you’d ever do this to me’.
I hope she finds her place. I hope she continues to get healthy. I hope she thrives. And I hope she forgives me.