Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Hard Part of Life

I'm almost 62. I am the youngest of four siblings. Our mom is 93. She finds it shocking that all her children are in their 60s. Soon we'll start into the next decade!

I went to see Mom a couple days ago. I go about once a month. She lives 150 miles away. I am starting to feel wistful and sentimental. I don't think my mom will be alive a whole lot longer. She has had congestive heart failure for quite a while. She becomes extremely winded from the smallest exertion of energy. It's hard to listen to her difficult breathing after she just walks a few feet and puts on her nightgown. I don't think her heart will be able to keep up that hard work for much longer.

I'm not a doctor, but I think I'm pretty close on this one.

Anticipating losing one's mom is a strange thing. She was always so energetic, busy, full of vim and vigor. I loved that about her. I miss that energetic mom. She does, too. She told me she feels "old and useless." That makes me sad. She lives in assisted living now, and I think that adds to her feeling of being "useless." She owned her own condo before this; she was proud of being independent and still going strong into her 90s. Her mind is still strong, and she can still enjoy one of her great loves: reading.

My mom's younger sister, my aunt, recently moved into a care center, too. She and my uncle now live in the same residence again (although on different floors). He has dementia, she has ALS. It is hard to see my favorite adults aging and becoming weak.

On my dad's side there is one sibling left. My aunt, who was the youngest of how many? Eight, I think. She has Alzheimer's, and her husband just died. She is alert enough to know what's happening and that she can no longer live in their house. These are really tough times.

I have not been very motivated to sew. I have done a little, but I just feel a bit restless. I can't settle down to a book, either.

I'm letting myself plan ahead for some painful loss.

It's part of life, but it's the hard part.

Canada Geese, just because


Betty said...

What beautiful musings! I am more than a decade older than you and already losing friends to death and dementia.
Every season of life has it challenges, and the joys of having a full life turn into the sadness of loss.
Taking time to reflect is so important and very soon you will be sewing and reading with renewed enjoyment.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Tough times indeed.

Anticipatory grief is an odd duck - I spent a long time there with my mother.

Taking time to recognize, reflect, and simply be in the moments now does matter.

Mindless (straightforward) stitching was all I could manage - mostly to keep myself busy. Nothing too challenging or demanding, but enough to allow the sound of the machine to soothe.

I hope you continue to take care of yourself . . . sending hugs and prayers.

Mystic Quilter said...

I can only agree with Julie -tough times indeed. Many of us have been along this road and it is a time of reflection and grief.

Travelling along this road with my Mum and then Dad all I could make whilst Mum slowly declined was a simple 9 patch lap quilt, straight line quilting! Dad with Alzheimers I managed a tumbler lap quilt. Simple is sometimes best.

I shall be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you as you mull all these things over. I'm sure you will know when it's time to read and sew again. I can't speak for the quilting part, but I am so thankful for garter stitch, or ribbing, or seed stitch knitting because it kept my hands busy during similar restless times. I will keep you in my thoughts.