Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's a lonely road before dying..........

Gerry Broome instagram

.......And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn. 
 Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

I dreamed I was dying for the past three nights. I am walking around every day among the living dead and their faces are coming home with me every night.  My mother is a child again, a frail and confused child and she cries every day. Her husband is confused and I am trying to keep him company at night, when all I really want to do is crawl in bed and hope for better dreams.

I saw this photo on Gerry's instagram. I don't even know where he is.  I changed his mother's diapers, wiped her ass, fed her, put her to bed, talked to her, loved her and not one member of her family has sent me an email or a phone call to ask about me or my mom.  I have heard from my daughter..... my friends have emailed........ you, my blog friends have offered very kind and supportive words. But here I am with my family...... a step dad that is kind and opens my door for me, buckles my seat belt and that makes me smile..... and my mom. 
I painted her fingernails red today and we laughed about how her mother would never allow her to paint her nails because she would look like a "loose woman".  She is judgmental about "that colored girl", the lesbian with the nose ring and the tattoo that says Oscar, the man with the pony tail. Me and the lesbian are best friends now, the colored girl cracks me up, haven't met pony tail man yet, just heard about him. I found ants all over her night stand yesterday and asked that something be done. Well, a guy came in with a large jug of Ortho poison and sprayed it all over the back of the bed, the walls, the floor. I guess these people are dying in a few years, what's a little poison sprayed about for us all to breathe. I would have preferred the ants if I had known.....  I bitched, he smiled at me and kept spraying.

I am becoming a thorn in their side about the nutrition they provide, tomorrow I told them to forget the meals, I would cook and bring my mom something decent to eat. Why can't we feed old people good food? Why must it be grey and unrecognizable? They scold my mom every day for not walking to the dining area to eat. She won't go. She cries. She says she doesn't want to eat with the old people. The ones with their mouths gaping open and food running down their face, the ones with the oxygen tubes in their nose, the ones missing legs, or hands....they are all alone with no family to help them eat.  It is freaking her out. I went to the desk for the third time today and asked that they please quit badgering her about eating in her bed. She is scared of this place. She knows the routines of the hospital, God knows she has been there enough, but this is a dose of reality she was not ready for. I'm trying to help her through it, but I'm not making friends at this place. 

I feel like I am walking down that lonely road in Gerry's photo. Here I am in my room now with my computer, a ball of yarn and a few books. The thermostat is set on 80 and I am in South Carolina in August. Imagine.......  

I hear Hank Williams singing in my head, "I'm so lonesome I could cry". My daddy used to sing that while he was shaving, with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, standing there at the mirror that was on the medicine cabinet, in his white T shirt and blue jeans, smelling of Old Spice and tobacco. I could lay in my bed and look across the hall into the bathroom and watch him shave. I wish he was here with me. I wish he would come into my room like he used to and kiss my forehead and say goodnight. I miss him so much. He died twenty years ago and I think about him still, every single day. 

So, yes I am planting my own garden. I do yoga every morning, then I meditate for 20 minutes. A few laps in the pool, breakfast of whole grain cereal and fruit, and then to see the dead that are living.........  I have a heightened awareness that is intriguing me. Everything is a slow reality...... I'm just breathing through it. I have learned a lot about myself this year and what I am capable of enduring..... alone. 

Peace ya'll


Vicki said...

Although there are advantages and lessons in solitude, as you have found, you're never truly alone, when there are those here - in the ether - who wish you well, and who walk alongside you on that lonesome road, in these dark hours.
Hugs xx

Dennis Allen said...

Wish I could send you a big bucket of peace and serenity. You are building up so much Karma, the next 40 years should be a breeze for you.

smartcat said...

Sometimes family sucks! There's no kinder way to put it!
Go on being tough; if you don't do it who will?
A virtual ((hug)). You are in my thoughts.

littlemancat said...

You're a strong person as well as a loving one,taking in all these life lessons. Sending you hugs too.

Shannon said...

Tracey, Tracey, there is a novel in you. I'm sure of it now! Good luck. good deeds. Good for you taking care of yourself, also.

Debbie said...

I'm with Shannon. That next to last paragraph is amazing! I can see your daddy at that mirror plain as day. Pour your grief out on paper, as you are pretty darn good at it!

Debbie said...

I'm with Shannon. That next to last paragraph is amazing! I can see your daddy at that mirror plain as day. Pour your grief out on paper, as you are pretty darn good at it!

Laura Smith said...

All negative feelings are the result of our habitual response to events and people who are not
the way we want them to be.
The fruit of negative feelings is endless ignorance and suffering. To remember this is to cultivate the opposite.
Patanjali, Yoga Sutras II.34

Try to Let go of the idea of how you wish your family members should be towards you and you will suffer less. Practice trying to accept who they are and what they can handle and endure. They may be suffering as you are, but do not have the skills to deal. Trust that you have enough, alone, without their support. Your strength comes from within because you have developed a practice. Trust that.

I remember what it was like when my Opa was in a nursing home. My father went every single day and made sure to say hello to and joke with as many caretakers as possible. His presence made it clear that Opa's needs would be met.

It is okay to complain until things meet your standards, but try not to make it a such a big battle against the world. If there is neglect, it is probably systemic of the entire product of care, but you can transform only your own situation at this time by advocating for your mom's care. And right now that is enough. That is great!

I know it is difficult, but practice letting go of all the big fights that your mind is sending you on. Any anger or negativity is going to cause you more suffering. Keep the peace by being aware of the thoughts that are telling you how things should be. Send those thoughts away, so that you can deal with the facts at hand right now. Whatever was, or should have been, or should be etc. is not what is. You can only advocate for what is.

Can she get outside? Nature helps. Even small bits of nature. Can you teach her to do square breathing so she can get some relief from her crying? Does she have an iPod?

Hang in there. When I was 17, My mom told me a story about meeting a 80 year old woman who lived alone. I think my parents thought she was very old at the time, and my mother had asked her how it was that she was so happy, even living all alone and isolated as she was. And the woman laughed and answered, "Alone? Oh, no, Babette, I am never alone. I always have my Maker with me."

Who ever or what ever is "your Maker", is always with you. I'm sure your mom knows this as well, she just has to be reminded, because we often forget. When we remember who we are in the sense of our spirituality and inner core self, we feel at peace. We can comfort ourselves. We are all the same in this. You and your mom are experiencing very much the same pain and through your understanding and comfort of your own self, she too will feel the change in you and through you and be comforted.

I, too, will be sending you love because I too can feel your pain, and it can be transformed.

Lori Buff said...

Nursing homes seem like the most difficult place on earth for the residents and the guests. I feel your pain. Good for you for sitting with your mother, you must bring her a lot of happiness by being there, even if she is crying, it'd be worse alone. Bring wild flowers.

Michèle Hastings said...

Your story is so familiar to me and I am sure to many other readers. I missed being there for the nursing home part with my mother, but I sure heard about it from my sister. In the end my sister did her best to pick up the slack of the nursing home. After 4 weeks she realized that most of the problems stemmed from lack of staff which all started at the top of the organization. Most of the direct care people did the best they could to meet everyone's needs.
BTW... my Mom wouldn't go eat in the dining room either!
This is a hard stage of life, for young and old. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can do. You are in my thoughts.

oldgreymareprimitives said...

I feel so sad for all of us in these situations and then I am just plain angry, for it need not be this way and it is not this way in many countries. As we know, these homes "control " the patients with meds and routines that are not one size fits all and god forbid if you wish to sleep at day and be up at night... they'll drug you till you conform.
so now I am sad once more....

Music works wonders for most folks, try some that they remember from their late teens and twenties-
It does help_ Perry Como did it for my Dad..Herb Alpert for Ma

smokieclennell said...

Dang you! You made me cry! t

smokieclennell said...

Dang you! You made me cry! t