Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rainy, rainy day.

Lovely long deep rainstorms today helped to make up our 9 inch rainfall deficit. Girlchild is much better, in fact, by mid-afternoon she was on her feet and showered and dressed, and she took off to her boyfriend's at dinnertime. It's a 24 hour bug, I don't have it so far.

Speaking of bugs, I chased Charlotte off the elliptical trainer and did 45 minutes today - it boosts my energy so much it's amazing.

Many, many phonecalls. Long call with my mother, who is doing far, far better than I'd expected. She's starting to feel the reality of "Damn, he was horribly sick for so long. The crazy medical crisis life wasn't normal, and normal is so quiet." She's coping with the quiet. She needs to figure out what she wants to do with the next 15 or so years of her life, because if she's anything like her aunt, she has at least 15 more good years left in her. Her aunt told her something that made my heart sing - her late husband (who died of Alzheimers maybe 10+ years ago) had told her not to make any quick decisions about moving in with anybody, and she's so glad that she took his advice. She's still on her own at 93, in their house in her familiar neighborhood, and she loves her independence. That is just what my mother needed to hear at this moment - she's in a safe, comfortable place, 24 hour security and not too much traffic to handle, stores and such within easy striking distaince, and she can manage there just fine, and she shouldn't jump to make any quick decisions until she is sure of what she wants. Bless that woman - it's only the truth, but she'll believe it if her aunt who is way beyond her on this road tells her so.

She's getting with reality. She's looking at pictures for the funeral, and having happy memories and also processing just how awfully sick my father was in the last couple of years. I saw it, she didn't, she saw him day to day. I know how that is - I became accustomed to my husband's terrible deterioration because I saw him slide downhill. His sister, an ICU nurse accustomed to looking at terribly sick people, could hardly bear it when she saw him near the end. It's amazing how we can adjust to damn near anything when we have time to do it. I saw my father three weeks ago and thought he had two months at best. He went faster and easier than I had dreaded, so that is a blessing for everyone involved. I don't say that casually - I've seen slow and ugly. My father caught a break and went without suffering.

I'm not expecting miracles, I know my mother will have highs and lows in the coming months, but I'm honestly stunned at how much she has rallied already. This is not the helpless confused creature in denial I sat with on Wednesday. I was so worried on Thursday, but my instincts have been good so far - let her be by herself, let her make phone calls and talk to people and sort papers and clean the house and think. She has actually been inviting other neighbors who knew my father and cared to the funeral. Shoot, I was afraid it would be her, me and my kids. She's thinking. She's dealing. If I had stayed and hovered she would have let me do this for her.

She curled her hair and is in her nightgown looking for something to watch on TV. She wants to put her feet up, watch TV, read books and relax. She's astonishingly good. Fingers crossed that there are more days like this than not. I know it's a roller coaster, I rode it, so did Cousin C, and so did her aunt, and we can help her stand on her own. She can do this.

I think I'll go into the office tomorrow, and put a toe back in the real world.


Ginnie said...

She also had to be exhausted, physically and emotionally. My mother made very fast decisions and has since said she wished she hadn't done certain things, but at the time she had to. So I am gald someone told her, that she will listen to. I hope the next week passes well, and that you can relax and not be so worried about everything.

Best to you-

Dee fm KS said...

Catherine, this is Dee fm KS. I wrote you a note on the first post after your father crossed. It was there, then not the next day. I did not give you warm and fuzzy, but told you I understood because I had lost my husband, father and mother. I did not have a warm and fuzzy relationship with my parents, so I really understood. I just figured that you didn't like the comment and deleted it. LOL, Now I find out that you didn't see it at all.....LOL. Got to love blogland. Anyway, I am glad your mother and you are doing so well and have such support. Have a good day.

Catherine said...

I'm glad you came back and commented Dee - I really was confused, I didn't see your comment at all! I guess Blogger ate it.