20 April 2015

Time to Sit

Kevin's mom is in hospital with pneumonia.  As most of us know, this is not good. She's 75 years old and had multiple strokes, C.O.P.D., P.A.D, and vascular dementia.  Just one of those would probably cause the rest of us to just sit the eff down but not her.  Sadly, part of the reason is the dementia doesn't allow her to realize all that is wrong. The rest is just pure stubbornness. 

The parents insist that we go about our regular lives when this happens.  It happens about twice annually.  I think it's easier when it's just the two of them.  Drawing from my own experience, the absolute LAST thing I wanted was people hovering around me and looking pitiful.  So, with both surgeries, only Kevin was allowed.  I think they feel the same way.

So not the point of this...

Kevin and I discussed this morning that it's time for a conversation.  She's 75 and very frail.  She is at the point of her life where she should watch life from the comfort of her recliner.  It's no longer time to go browse second-hands shops all day (don't get me started...super frustrated about this one...let's just say she's left unattended while shopping)
It's no longer necessary to go out to dinner every Friday.  Let's just save it for special occasions now.

A part of me thinks she will be relieved.  She is very much the person that doesn't want to disappoint people, or be an inconvenience.  I think if she's given "permission" to just relax and sit it out, she will accept.

A smaller part of me knows she will fight it, because it's a tough realization. It's not a fun milestone, like your 21st birthday or retirement.  But also, because I believe she thinks she should fight against it.  Again, the obligation factor.

The other part, that is not worrisome because I don't think she sees it as such, is she wants to go be with her sisters.  Three of her sisters and her mother have passed and I think she's ready to be with them again.  I've been listening for hints and while I believe she's thinking about it, to my knowledge she hasn't said anything beyond missing them.

I believe the elderly know when it's getting to be their time and begin small, quiet preparations. Again, I think we're there now.

The family is divided by 2/3 and 1/3. Her husband is completely aware of where they are in life and is also getting weary.  The 1/3 is in denial that we're at this point.  This 1/3 is the part that takes her shopping all day and insists on going to dinner.  (Having her get up into a big 4x4 Dodge truck "because she wanted to"...don't get me started) Their intentions are fear-based and it makes me angry.  This situation isn't about them or their comfort or feelings.

We'll see. These things can't be scheduled per se, just loosely planned for.  And after all this, she could outlive us all through the miracle of modern medicine.  There really aren't any guarantees.

1 comment:

Swistle said...

I recently read a book called Being Mortal, and found it very useful. It's allllll about these last-stage-of-life decisions and issues. My parents read it too, and I think that's going to be even more helpful; but I think it's helpful for the kids (i.e., us) even if the parents don't read it.