Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel?
Just before Christmas, Mum was diagnosed with small blood vessel disease. The blood circulation to her brain is faulty and it is not getting the oxygen it needs. It’s also called vascular dementia. Two of the manifestations are mental confusion and hallucinations. There is no cure.
My sister’s phone number must be the first one of her list and she gets the majority of calls. But, the phone calls to me are increasing. Nearly every call is coloured with urgency. “I’ve just had a shock.” “I have a situation here.” I know she phones my brother as well.
It’s difficult to hear that Grandma is visiting, or that Aunty has gone out and she doesn’t know when she’ll be back, or “I’m just waiting for your Dad to come home.” Both Grandma and Dad have been gone for years and Aunty lives in England and is unable to travel on her own.
It’s difficult to visit and sit and have a conversation and become hopeful and optimistic because it’s as normal a conversation as I’ve ever had with Mum and then hear her say, “I’ve just been wondering about my furniture. What will happen to it when I go back home to England?”
It’s difficult when I stay for supper with her and she wonders how I can afford to come all that way. “It’s expensive traveling from England you know.”
So, maybe I’ll just throw in the towel. I could get a new phone number. I could never go and visit my mother again. I could just forget it all….
On the other hand that would leave my sister and brother alone in this. After all, I am the big sister. What would they do without me? And, it would confuse Mum if all of a sudden I didn’t phone or visit anymore, or my phone number didn’t work. After all, she is confused enough.
Then again, our mum never threw in the towel. Oh sure, I know she thought about it – probably more than once. But, when a job has to be done you just set your mind to it, dig in and do it. And, she should know. She did just that – for over 23 years… But, that’s another story.
So, I will do just that. With a song and a prayer I will set my mind to it, dig in and do it. I will do it for my sister and brother. I will do it for our mum. And, I will do it for myself. Because, in the long run, how would I live with myself if I turned my back on her when she needed me most.
I know I’m not alone.
Let’s journey together.
© Denise Budd Rumble 2010