I wrote my last post 6 weeks ago – far too long to be not writing. Unfortunately it has been a very tough 6 weeks and the last thing I felt like doing was writing. I did not want to think about grief, I did not feel like talking about my feelings. I wanted to be in a fog, in some never never land. I wanted to just be on auto- pilot all the time and not deal with life. But life has a way of going up and down, being good and bad. The last 6 weeks were very bad but now its not so bad. I say that almost whispering it, for fear of what might happen if I said it out loud.
I want to go back and tell you about Mom’s 90th birthday celebrations. They couldn’t have been more perfect! Both days, the day of the party and her actual birthday were beautiful sunny days. Mom felt very good on both of those days which was a blessing. I managed, despite living in a fog, to pull everything together and put on a real nice time for Mom both for the party and for her luncheon on her actual birthday with her childhood friend who is now 94. I did not think I could do it but I managed. Mom was in her glory! For one of the very few times in her life she was the one we were honouring and she lapped up every bit of the attention bestowed on her. It was wonderful to see. It felt good to really treat her like a Queen.
I must admit though that I sensed a shadow over things as the celebrations were happening. I had this nagging feeling that things were going to change once she was 90. Unfortunately, my nagging fear is coming true. Ever since she turned 90 she has been steadily going downhill. I don’t understand it except to suspect that somehow in Mom’s mind, 90 was the turning point. Or perhaps I should say the point of no return. She used to always say she was going to live till she was 100. Now she does not say that. Instead, almost every day she talks about how she is not going to live much longer. She’s 90 now she exclaims. She’s not going to live forever. So I am watching her decline before my eyes and I can’t quite catch my breath for the fear that is rising in me.
Last night she fell. Hard. But my 90 year old mother has bones of steel. She is my Wonder Woman. She says she is not even sore. Her crashing to the floor woke me out of a dead sleep. She just missed cracking her head on the corner of the wall. It ‘s like an angel just lowers her down between the furniture and other obstacles so she does not hurt herself. The problem is trying to get her up. She does not like me calling the paramedics so she stubbornly tries to get herself up into her chair. After much struggle and several puffs of her nitro spray she managed to do it with the little help I could give. She sat there for a few minutes while I sat on her bed and then she looked at me and grinned. Oh, she is a stubborn lady.
She may be alright. No bones broken. No head injury etc. I should rejoice right?? During the time I am helping her I go very calm and methodical. I have heard that those with autism often do this. I become almost robotic like. But it’s after that I fall apart. I can’t sleep. I fret and worry about her falling again. I wonder what this means in the whole scheme of things. And the fear of losing her ramps up a few notches like I just turned up the sound on the TV so it is blaring in my mind.
Is it all down hill from here? Was 90 the magical date where everything starts to change? Mom said tonight as she was crying in bed, ” I feel myself going downhill more and more all the time”. I stroke her hair like I would a child and I can think of nothing to say except that God will look after us. He always has, He always will. I give her a kiss, tell her I love her and turn out her light. I close the door to her room and fight back tears. Grieving is not easy but it is comforting to know that you don’t grieve unless you first love. Grieving is the expression of that love. I love my Mama so much.
But whatever happens from here on in, the birthday mission was accomplished. She reached her 90th birthday – a major milestone for her. And we did it in style and grandeur. After all, there may be a Queen in England but Mom is the Queen in my house and life.