Why BLOG??? Why would a busy woman choose to blog about her life? I'm feeling the need to have some of this written down for the future. I think it may help me to write out what is happening and what I am feeling. Maybe it will help someone else who is travelling this same road. While busy raising my seven children, I've had the privilege to watch my Mother care for her Grandmother(Great Ma) and Mother(Grams) for years in her home. After Great Ma's death, Mom continued to care for her Mother at home until an unfortunate accident resulted in a leg amputation. At that point, Grams was placed in a nursing home. Mom still spent the bulk of the day at the home caring for her. We finally decided to move her to a nursing home between the two of us so I could do every other day. In the last year of her life, Mom moved into our guest room to be nearer the home. Dad retired soon after Grams died and they built on our property and moved to be near us. So far, they've been here with us for 12 years.
Six years ago now...Dad had day surgery and the Doctor came out and announced excitedly that they thought they lost him during the surgery. On closer examination, they realized he had "fainted". Dad had great recall of the events(he was not anesthetised)...bright lights, whirring sounds, smells of flesh, etc...and then the blackness...when he came to, there were 20 or so residents and interns crowded into the room. For safety, they decided to keep him overnight.
We decided that I would stay with him so Mom could come back home for a good night's rest. The next morning the head resident reported that Daddy had a heart 20 years younger than his age. We headed home to get him settled. It never crossed my mind that he might not relay that information on to Mom. She began months of caring for him and missing lots sleep. After some months, I began to notice that she seemed to be off center...instead of getting upset, she'd cry and withdraw. I thought she was suffering a bit of depression and she'd regroup.
About a year later, I went to a Doctor's appointment with them and she told the Doctor that Dad's surgery had gone fine except "he DIED during the surgery!" Dad agreed that had happened but he was fine now. Until this, I did not know that Dad had not told Mom about the heart monitor report. I could only think that maybe Dad did not have his hearing aid turned up when the resident gave him the report at the hospital. I explained to the Doctor and them what had happened and what was said. I felt very sad that Mom had gone a whole year at this point thinking she had almost lost Dad. It seemed to have a profound impact on her.
For several years, Mom was a bit forgetful but nothing more than you'd expect. When she would get upset about it, I'd laugh as menopause has robbed me of much of my memory so she didn't seem bad to me at all! The worst times would be when Daddy was planning to leave for his family reunion in July each year. Her perspective was that he was abandoning her...as her parents had when she was young. Her childhood was filled with her father in the service travelling...her Mom accompanying him and her staying behind with an incredibly loving Grandmother. She never regrets being with her Grandmother but she deeply missed her parents. It was hard for her to make sense of being left repeatedly...like she was not really a part of their family. She grew up an only child so she didn't have a sibling to be with.
I don't remember a moment of thinking "OH NO what happened"...instead I remember times of thinking Mom was slipping away from us and then just as soon, she'd be fine again. The few times were sporadic and unpredictable. They'd leave as quickly as they'd come...they were far and few between. Then there came a time when they seemed to come to stay...the days of not knowing where she was or how she got here became the norm.
For along time, she knew who I was but did not know Daddy. My heart would ache to hear her question him about who he was. He found a way to tell her again and again of his love. "We've been together for a long time and until God calls me home, I'm not going anywhere." Their love seemed to be fresh and new to her...precious to watch them act like "kids" again...rediscovering each other. They both are clinging to each other for support. She often tells him how incredible he is...what a wonderful man he is...how she doesn't deserve him. Maybe that's a small consolation for not remembering all their years together.