Tuesday, April 20, 2010

trying without frustration

I use to call my mom daily, sometimes two or three times a day just to chat and check up on her. We use to go shopping, and out to eat at least once a week. Now, I can see drastic changes in my mom.
My mom is beginning to forget many things, and our conversations are now to one call a day if that. I call my mom wanting to talk and share, but it isn't so any more. She barely knows what to say, and her answers are short.

Today when I called she asked where my husband was. As I shared with her that it was his first day of work, she says, "Well, you didn't tell me that." I in turn say, "Yes Mom, I did a few days ago." But regardless what I say, if I try to correct her she becomes angry.

If we are not doing her shopping for her, my daughters are graciously stepping in to help their grandma, but even her lists are becoming shorter. She is not cooking as she once did, and the door to her home is often locked while she sleeps all day.

I must force her to go to the doctor and many times when I know she needs to she will refuse. Like now, she needs to return to the eye doctor and the dentist, but I cannot make her go. So this is where my frustration comes in. I want my mom to be the way she once was. I want her to want to get out of the house. I want her to do her own shopping with me. I want her to make phone calls and appointments, but she is relying on me to do so. It is not that I don't want to do these things for my mom, I do, but I want to see my mom push herself, and I feel that she is giving up.

As she began loosing the sight in her eye I knew then she was moving slowly downward, but at the last visit the specialist says she is better and will continue to get better, but she is refusing to go back.

So what does a daughter do? I feel that if I do nothing then I am not being the daughter I should, and if I push her, then too I feel bad because I know it is not something she wants me to do.

It is so hard watching your mother age, and with that age grow smaller, weaker, and more feeble in mind. It hurts to see her this way, and I want so badly to help her, but I am not sure at this stage as what to do next.

I keep calling, I keep shopping, doing her laundry and all things that need to be done, but I find myself feeling frustrated. Can anyone relate to me and how I am feeling right now? I feel that if I am not doing for my mom always then I am being selfish, but if I am not there who will be?

I see the loneliness on my mom's face when I come to visit. I see the pain she is carrying, and I too see the confusion as she counts off the days on her calendar. I see my mom as beauty, as grace, as mercy, and as giving. She has given throughout her life in countless ways and in the last day of her life she is still giving as she has chosen to give her little, wounded body to science to study, so one day maybe her granddaughters and their children will not have to suffer the illness' she has through her life. My mom is a blessing to me. I love to hear her voice, and no one makes better biscuits and gravy than my mom. She has much to give still, and I want to see her soar, not give up because she is tired. Is that selfish of me? Is it selfish to want your mom here, and for her to be the way she use to? Lord forgive me, but that is what this daughter wants.

I do not want to face that day when my mom can longer care for herself. I refuse to place her in a home. Those homes break my heart. They are full of elderly folks that are forgotten and misplaced, but I too know that I will never be able to care for my mom alone. I want to serve my mom with the same fervent grace she served me with. I want to be there when she needs me, and answer when she calls. But I am tired too. I don't want to be tired, I want to give with a loving heart without frustration. I wonder if my mother ever served me with frustration? If so, I never knew.

I am just writing to release these feelings I have inside today. Our parents raise us, we raise our children, and it comes back to our parents as we begin to care for them in ways we never expected.

Lord, I ask for Your guidance, for Your strength, and mercy. Please help me help my mother and do so with a loving attitude, not forgetting to honor and respect her always, even when its not so easy. As I know You love me when I am unlovable. Wash my mom with Your healing hands today, bring her comfort and remove her pain. Heal her eyes, and give her a body full of energy and renew her fight for life. Bring joy to her daily, and may laughter fill her home. Thank You Lord for giving me the mother You blessed me with, the mother who raised me with unconditional love, just as You choose to love me.
Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."
Ephesians 6:1-3 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise-that is may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
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