Monday, March 16, 2009
~Dancing On Ice~
Mom had been doing so well....until last week. Wednesday nite I received a phone call from her. She was all out of breath. She was looking for her mother. Frantically. To say good-nite to her. My grandmother died 32 years ago. I had to tell her that. Her reply: "Stop it, Carol! WHERE is she? Is she with you?".
And the dance begins again. That dreaded two-step. The one where you're no longer on the familiar dance floor. You're on ice. Cracked ice. In bare feet. Cold. Uncomfortable. Uncharted territory that is becoming way too familiar.
I was able to settle her down that nite. For about 5 minutes, after which time she said to me in her best, 'motherly' voice, "Carol....I have to get off the phone now and go find Mom. I need to say good-nite to her". sigh. I had failed.
Friday nite I got a call from the head nurse. Mom was frantic. Even after been given a Xanax. "Carol....I'm still at work. Everyone's gone. I missed the bus. I have no money. What am I going to do?".
Nothing calmed her. She wanted to go "home". I packed a very ill husband into the pre-heated car, and headed to her assisted living facility. She was finally calm....but insisted on my taking her "home". After a long while of trying to get her to remember we had sold her house 3 years ago ("I KNOW that Carol"), I couldn't get her to tell me where she meant when she said, "home". She didn't want to come to my house....she wanted to go 'home'.
Can you imagine the terror you would feel, when no one around you understood what you wanted? The heartbreak of feeling that even your own daughter didn't understand....didn't meet your needs?
This continued through the weekend. There were many moments when I questioned whether she meant 'home' to heaven. I don't think so. But then again, maybe that's what she wants. To go 'home' and away from this hell.
For right now, we are all there with her. Trying to help her navigate the ice. Depressing? Yes. Heartbreaking? Yeah. But it's her life right now. And mine. I thank God each day when I walk into my studio, turn on the lights, and create. Escape. Live. It drives me into a world that is safe. And free of pain. At least for a little while. Until the phone rings again.