April Showers

So many questions, usually answered with tears.

  • Did I make the right decision?
  • Did I make the wrong decision?
  • Did I act too hastily?
  • Should I have been more patient?
  • Was it a mistake to move in together for a year and a half? Did that make this current move even harder on her?
  • Will Mom ever believe that her current living situation is her home?
  • Will she ever forgive me for moving her “into an old folks’ home”?
  • Will we ever have a visit where it doesn’t end with her begging me to take her home, crying, promising that she’ll be good, and me trying to hold back sobs until I exit the building?
  • Am I seeing my future?

There are moments she seems so lucid, when she tells me she is *not* going to continue living where she is. And there are moments when she cannot string words together in a coherent thought. And most heartbreaking, the frequent moments when she asks me if we can go look for Dad, because she hasn’t seen him for a while, and she’s worried about him. And then she’s angry, so angry, that he’s deserted her. There are no words to comfort her.

Last year, I bought this larger house so that she could surround herself with her furniture, her things, hoping that would make her feel more comfortable. And now those things, those artifacts from her and Dad’s life, mock me when I walk in the door, reminding me that I quickly lost one person I cared for so deeply, and am now slowly losing another.

There are days I want to give it all away, not have the visual reminders. And other days I regret the hastily discarded things after Dad’s death. I’ve been cautioned not to make any major decisions right now, to give myself time to feel the feels and let emotions run their course. More than May flowers, I hope all of these April showers bring some sense of peace when I ponder these questions.

9 thoughts on “April Showers

  1. This post is like an echo of my own story. My Mom lived with us for a year before moving into a residence a few years ago. The day we moved her, I cried as if I were leaving my five-year old at school for the first time. Yesterday, we moved her into the assisted care wing of the same residence. She called me last night, sobbing because she said she didn’t know where she was, didn’t know she was moving, etc. As you know, it’s a heartbreaking experience.

    • My heart goes out to you. It’s so hard. We’re trying to do the right thing, make the best decisions, and there’s always that sniggle of doubt that lingers. I hope that you Mom adjusts to her new home and is at peace.

  2. Whatever you decide and act upon is right but all those decisions are full of regret and sadness. That is the cruel fact of dementia in the ones we love. My thoughts are with you both.

  3. Spring is a reflective time. You’re asking all of the right questions and your intuitive self will reveal the answers. With each day you’ll get more clarity. Hang in there my friend. I remember when I visited my Dad for the first rime after he had an accident and he didn’t remember me. It’s ripped my heart apart. I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. But then a few visits later he was telling some of the residents that I was his daughter from California and my heart melted. Feel all of the feelings. 🙏💕

  4. My dad fell right after the start of lockdown in March 2020. With his advanced Parkinson’s Disease and my mom’s inability to care for him, we made the hard decision to keep him at a rehab facility, alone. He quickly declined because he wasn’t allowed to take the risky moves he was with my mom and lost what little muscle he had left. We did get to see him when he was hospitalized for a week a few months later. Ultimately he ended up at a better care facility, and my mom and I got to be with him during his final days.

    The terror of leaving him alone, limited to FaceTime when a nurse could facilitate it, haunted me for a long time. The thing is, if I had to make the decision again, I’d make the same one. My mom was slowly declining in her own health with the inability to rest and over-exerting herself helping him around the house. I’m fairly certain if I hadn’t convinced her to keep him at rehab that she would have been in a facility herself.

    I don’t know exactly what you’re going through right now, Lori. Maybe my story resonates a bit, maybe it doesn’t. You can only make decisions based on the context/information you have, and those decisions can change over time. Nobody has the right answers. Just remember that your decisions along this journey with your mom have had a ton of consideration and love put into them. The outcomes may not be what we expected, but your intention was to do the right thing at that exact time.

    Thank you for writing about your journey; it’s very helpful to me. Not having kids means I have to prepare myself for these inevitabilities. I don’t want to go through life with my head in the sand and sharing your thoughts and feelings helps me more than you can know. Many hugs, Lori. ❤

    • Oh, Aaron. Thank you for sharing this. I can empathize with wanting to make the best decision for both your mom and your dad. Being a caretaker can be so incredibly difficult (a blessing as well, but a difficult one). You were smart to understand the toll that being a caretaker could have on your mom. I, too, am trying to figure out how to prepare for my own future living situation, and even having gone through this, am not sure what the best course is. Sending love. ❤

  5. What you and your mom are going through breaks my heart, and those questions really resonated with me. I just want to say that you’re not alone; I’ll wake abruptly in the middle of the night with very similar questions racing through my mind, almost 2 years after The Decision (my version of it, anyway). I can tell you clearly — without any hesitation or doubt — that while you love your mom and want the best for her, there are no right answers, and you made the best decision for you two based on the information you had at the time. But oh man, do I get it. I hope with time that you’re able to more quickly and easily push these intrusive thoughts aside and find peace.

    Thinking of you often and sending my love.

    • Oh, Jenny. I’ve thought of you often and what you’re going through now. There are no easy decisions, and I’m not sure there are any “right” decisions either. Sending love. xoxo

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