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dressagetraks
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:12 PM
Annual sort of rant. Only sort of. I have given up. No year can compare to 2009, when on Mom's birthday, I signed the paperwork transferring her from the nursing home to the state psych hospital because of violence.

Mom's birthday is tomorrow. Not a word from a sibling, not that that's unusual. My weekly visits are every Sunday now, as church is conveniently along the route in a line for gas efficiency. It's still well over 100 miles. Every Sunday, I send an update on OUR mother to the family. Every Sunday, it's a bit like throwing post-it notes into the Grand Canyon. I reminded them last week. No cards in evidence this week.

Yes, some are distant, but there are two family members who live as close or closer to the nursing home than I do. It's been years. Quoth Brother #3 a few years ago after he visited once: "This is depressing." Gee, thanks for telling me that. Wouldn't have noticed myself.

From her abrupt flip out of gentle memory slide into violence/hallucinations/delusions on February 22, 2008, a day that will live in personal infamy, I feel that I have been on the front lines, and that the rest of the family has been glad to let me be on the front lines.

If I have ONE 5-minute conversation in an entire year with some of them about our mother, that has been an excellent year.

I feel sorry for them in a way. They are missing the good moments that still creep in now and then like the occasional glitter of diamonds through the black coal.

She was on a pretty good day today. Appreciated me coming, knew that her birthday was near but not the exact day (it's posted on her door, so I'm sure every aide and worker in wishes her happy birthday). She wasn't paranoid against anything/anyone today while I was there. I took her a stuffed cat, poor excuse for a real cat, which she always loved, but she was petting it and liked it.

It was me and her today. A good visit. Still never like it was (we were best friends, as well as mother-daughter). But a good visit today. Happy birthday, Mom.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk8/dressagetraks/PauletteBirthday22012.jpg

Ajierene
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:31 PM
Feb 22? That's my mom's birthday - did you commit my mom to a psych ward? That would explain a LOT!

In seriousness, there are a few things going on here:

1-Not everyone deals with illness/pending death/geriatric changes in loved ones the same. Some people just seem to not be able to deal very well. Some people just feel the need to stay as far away as possible.

2-Not everyone is as close to their family members as others. This could mean not visiting much or not visiting at all.

Your family members could be one, the other, a combination of both, a combination of one/other/both and something else. There was a kerfuffle with my aunts when my step-grandma died because she died on a weekend and the funeral (prepaid) was that Monday. The one Aunt, who lives a couple of states away, was not happy that the funeral was to close to notification for them to make it up. The other two aunts, who both live in the same town, felt it was their right to do what they wanted because Aunt 3 never visited as much.

I never visited her when she went into the nursing home, moving from NYC to DE. I lived about 2 hours away - I just did not visit, mostly because I can not stand nursing homes and people in them. They creep me out and seeing a loved one in there just adds fuel to that flame. When my grandma went into a nursing home, I only went there because of pressure from my sister-in-law to go be the buffer between her and my mother (she does not get along with her). I was SO glad she died shortly after that because I just HATED being there. I prefer my memories of these two people when I knew them in their original house. It does not make me a bad person, just makes me a different kind of person.

My sister-in-law did go up to see my mom and grandma the weekend she died because she is the type of person to do that kind of stuff - she feels an obligation or something...she's a nurse for a reason.

You are also the cargiver type, along with having been very close to your mother your whole life. You will relieve a lot of stress by forgiving your siblings for not being you and not visiting. They are not you, they are themselves and if they visit or not is not up to you. I understand dealing with a dying loved one is tough, I'm just saying you will decrease some of your stress by not expecting/hoping for more out of your siblings than they are able to give.

JanM
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:41 PM
I'm so sorry that this has become your burden, and isn't being shared.

LavenderFarm
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:46 PM
Bless you, dressagetrakes. Been there, done that.

The time will come when you can say you did everything you could for your Mom and you will have many memories of those times, good and bad. But you will know you did your best and gave your all ... and on the other side, your Mom will know that (and will know what siblings did or did not contribute).

That's how I like to think of it anyway.

dressagetraks
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:02 PM
I realize a lot of what you're saying, Ajierene, although part of what I'm comparing to is how we all related before Mom's illness. While I'm definitely close to her, there were others FAR closer than now. One of whom actually lived with her. So the distance isn't just something that's always been there.

Like I said, I've given up on it annoying me anymore and realized this is going to be status quo. I don't think it's right - she is OUR mother, in institutions or not, but I'm clearly not going to change them. But as mentioned, I actually feel sorry for them at times now. There are still good days. It is a good nursing home, better on the atmosphere/smell/etc. than any other I've seen, and I've heard other visitors note that. Not that it's a picnic, still.

dudleyc
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:07 PM
I am so happy for your mother that she has you - namaste.

LauraKY
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:31 PM
Yes, OP, I'm happy for your mother that she has you too. You can look in your mirror every morning and know you are happy with who you are. The rest of your family will probably have quite a few regrets in the future.

I was lucky, all of my siblings but one stepped up when my mother and father were failing. I lived the closest, so a lot of it fell to me (they were in an assisted living center which was a huge blessing).

I still have regrets and I saw them at least twice a week, if not more. None of us are perfect, but some of us are more less than perfect than others. :)

Hold tight to the good memories.