Au Revoir, Marcel
Listen Up, SonnyeBoy

Well, Damn.

I really thought Mom was getting settled; I really thought she had accepted her new home.

Not so much.

She said to me, "Don't sell my house. I want to go home. I have to get out of here. I told the physical therapist that I wanted to learn to walk without this walker, and she said I could."

And I had to look her in the eye and say, "You must realize that if you move back to Leisure World, you must be able to live independently. You have to be able to bathe yourself, dress yourself, manage your medications, and cook for yourself, stay alone at night. You have to be able to do that, because we cannot do it for you. We wish we could, but we can't. It's not just about being able to walk."

She didn't answer me.

Today she said the same thing to my older sister and my brother; they told her the same basic thing. She says she hates the food; it gives her diarrhea. She has suffered from diarrhea and/or constipation for last last 10 years. She doesn't eat enough of the damn food to have it give her diarrhea. And if she wasn't having diarrhea, she'd be constipated. I don't think Mom knows what a normal bowel movement is anymore.

Enough of that. Sorry.

She says she doesn't like any of the other residents; they're all too old. She's the oldest one there. Not only that, she makes zero effort to make friends or participate (the dance notwithstanding). She says she's all alone there; well, she was all alone in Leisure World, except for the nosy neighbor who she absolutely hated and even hid from.

But it doesn't sink in. She has more visitors than anyone else there; still, she's miserable.

I was talking to my sister this morning about this and other things, and she said, "You know, I'm really worried about what will happen if we sell the house and she outlives that money. What if she's not sick enough for nursing home? What then?"

And I said, "I guess we'll have to kill her."

RELAX, Y'ALL. I didn't mean it, of course. But I can't bring myself to think about things like that, not when I have to think about how to get her to accept the fact that she is not GOING home, she IS home.

Does this make us horrible kids? That we want our mother to live someplace that is lovely, that has all the services she could ever need, that has people who will ensure that she's clean and comfortable and entertained and medicated and fed? That we are willing to refinance our beach house to pay her way? Do we take her out of there, move all of the furniture back, and let her fend for herself?

Man, this is hard. Especially on a full moon. PMS = Post-menopausal shitstorm. I'll be cheerier tomorrow, I promise.

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