Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making Sense of Everything

I am so tired. After spending 8 hours on bills and stuff for my aunt, I drove 4 hours to see my mom. I am not so sure I am ready to handle two estates when my own hasn't closed yet. Let's just hope that my aunt and mom both recover quickly and go back to taking care of their own things. Not because I don't really want to but because I want them to recover.
Spending time with my mom was happy and sad. She wasn't real bright before the stroke but now it is like talking to a three year old that is learning to talk and walk again. She smiles a ton and has some fun expressions. The workers LOVE her because she is so easy to take care of.
From one minute to the next she can't remember things. I made her a picture book with lots of family pictures and our names so she could look at it and then put lots of pictures on the wall in her room. There is one picture of her from 1947 that is beautiful and she always knew it was her. The other person she picked out the most was Rachel my daughter. Rachel and mom have always had a good bond. Mom had to live with us off and on from the time Rachel was about 2-4. During that time they would have tea parties and play together. It was fun for them both. For some reason as a toddler Rachel called her grandma Dede and that has always stuck for them. I was glad she could remember Rachel.
She would often think I was her sister. If I asked her to repeat something I said, I would have to be careful because she would literally repeat everything I said. I took her on a walk around the rehab center and a gentleman in a wheelchair said hi to her.  I told mom to say hi to the man and she said, "Say hi man." It was kind of funny. He was a bit puzzled since he had said hi!
They are taking excellent care of her and Phil is there everyday. He had to go out of town so I went down to be with her while Phil was gone. It is hard because they have lived together for 13 years but never married. That meant that I was given Power of Attorney for her and he felt excluded. So I made sure everyone knew he could have all knowledge of her condition and they could call him for information. I told them to treat him as her husband. He cried when I told him that. He definitely loves her.
The best way to describe her situation would be to say she knows things but when she talks something different comes out and then she stares off like she is wondering why those words came out. It is like her mind is working but it can't come out.
I have to say, I am glad that when Mike took his life it ended quickly for him. If he would have survived and been in the hospital messed up, it would have been even harder on all of us. There is still a lot of healing to do. I recently came across something that one of my children wrote. About a year after Mike's death, they started locking them self into a room and hurting themselves, mainly using a curling iron to burn their arm. It puts the pain into a different area of life. I am glad to know that was a phase that came and went quickly, thanks to a caring third party that had a major impact in their life. 
You cannot push depression aside and pretend it isn't real. You cannot assume everyone is fine a year or two after a suicide. You cannot expect survivors directly involved to get over it. It takes years of pain, tears, questions, guilt and figuring out how to let go of it all and be happy again. I am one of the lucky ones who can move on and be happy. . . most of the time.  

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