Mom Turns 90!

Aside

It has been 6 months since my last post.  Where did the time go?  Family and friends celebrated Mom’s birthday in Florida in December and my sister and I decided that Mom could no longer travel to Georgia.  Yin/yang. Glad/sad. Same/change.  Complimentary opposites. Balance.  The beginning of the transition left me feeling very unbalanced.  How was I going to participate in her care living 360 miles away?

After many sleepless nights, I decided to make the trip to Chumuckla every two weeks to stay with Mom for two weeks at a time. My sister and I partner in her care allowing her to stay in her home.  She moves in with Mom when I am not there.  Our husbands have been supportive of our efforts. I have been doing this for five months now.  Hospice came on board in January.  Kathy and Tracy give us strength as they treat Mom with care and respect.  Mom continues to enjoy daily rides, sitting outside and seeing those she loves.

I seem to be in a constant state of grieving on some level.  I grieve when I leave my husband and grandchildren in Georgia. I grieve when I leave Mom in Florida.  I adore all of my family.  I would walk on hot coals for any of them.  Sometimes, I feel like I am doing just that.  Will I be burned?  I am learning that love overcomes obstacles and many times turns them into blessings. So even when I feel the heat, I can watch beautiful sunsets over plowed fields.  I can visit with my sister, her husband, my nephews and niece, cousins and old friends.  I can watch a full moon rise to fill the sky and land with light in the darkness.  I can buy the freshest of vegetables from Salter’s Farm Market.  I can see Mom smile and hold her hand.  I can go home to Georgia to the love of my life.

Caregiving poses many challenges.  Deciding where a person should be cared for is complicated.  And, if they are in their home, who will help provide the care?  It can get very stressful having a loved one who is unable to care for themselves, whether you are involved directly in their care or not.  I am grateful to be able to share in Mom’s care with my sister.  I can’t imagine trying to do it alone.

Blooming

Mom comes today.  I slept great last night.  Her room is arranged.  I’ll bring in a vase of Black-eyed Susans that popped up in a flower bed down hill from where they were originally planted.  She will smile when she sees the flowers.  I will smile when I see her.

Her huge yard was full of bright pink Azaleas and various colors of Day Lilies.  She had some deep yellow Day Lilies  that my sister used for her wedding flowers.  Mom and other ladies from Chumuckla Methodist Church arranged them in white wicker baskets on a stand.  They were stunning behind the bride and groom in 1972.

When she can, Mom spends much of her time outside.  She sits on our deck or out front in the driveway.  Lately, she has wanted me to park in the drive facing the woods, while she stays in the car for a little while after we arrive home from our errands.  I leave all the windows down, find a shady spot and take her a glass of ice water.  Though she cannot speak, the look of contentment on her face tells me she is enjoying looking at the trees, shrubs and flowers.  I wonder if she is thinking about her garden, all the years of digging in the dirt, pulling the weeds, watering all that was in need.

Coming from Florida today, she is like the Black-Eyed Susans, transplanted from her original home there to another area.  As always, she will make the best of it, smiling and blooming where she is planted.  I hope I can remember to be as gracious as I journey down the garden path.