Oops! I let February and March go by without posting after promising to get back on track. I'm sorry dear readers.
In January I posted that my mom spent New Years in the hospital, well she just spent Easter in the hospital as well. She fell down and broke a couple things and needed surgery on Easter morning. There was some question as to whether they would do the surgery because of her heart condition but they decided to go forward.
I want to get away from the details of her health though. Al-Anon teaches us to focus on ourselves, not on others. It scared me that she fell while in the process of trying to start her moped/scooter. She was trying to drive. I'm not sure she'll be driving anything again. I can certainly hope for that anyway. I'm still talking about mom, aren't I? Well I'm getting there.
One of my fears over my lifetime is that she would go to jail for her crimes. This current stint in the hospital is giving me hope that maybe that won't be the case. How much trouble can she get in if she loses her ability to drive? While it will pain her mentally, it gives me some peace of mind to see her confined somewhat.
I am struggling with guilt and obligation right now. Trying to weigh whether I should visit or not. Visiting isn't just a drive across town. It's a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Right now my thinking is that I will wait it out and maybe visit when she's back in her apartment again unless I need to go down sooner for a legal obligation or something. It's not that I lack compassion, I'm just not sure I can be of use.
I've said to my friends recently that my husband and I are entering that sandwich period in life where we are still raising a child and also being faced with our parents being more needy. What do they each need? How can we be there for them without being in the way? These are questions we are asking ourselves. How to be a parent to our parents without insulting our parents is not easy stuff. We're just starting to navigate those waters I think.
When a parent passes away the lines are clearly defined as to what needs doing, but when a parent is in "ill health" it can be a little tricky deciding when to drop everything to get to his/her side. We have another parent who is telling us not to visit but isn't well either. I think we are wanted, but the words we are hearing tell us otherwise. For us to go and visit would be disrespectful I think so we are holding off. If they lived somewhere that was convenient we might get away with saying we were in the neighborhood, but that isn't the case. I do hope we can see them this summer though, somehow. Again, negotiating all of that FOG and also being aware that our parents are getting older, and our time left together is getting smaller.
As the snow melts and school vacations approach I am full of worry and wonder about what the coming months will bring.