It’s A Way Of Life

I wasn’t going to write this piece, but I can’t let it go until I do. Not since the entry, last November, titled “Depression”, have I let my emotions get the best of me. But here I am again, not as depressed as before, but asking myself if I’m too old to runaway. 

It started the week before Easter. The clouds were forming; the winds were blowing, hurricane “Mom” was just off the coast. I should have arranged someone to give me a break. It’s been 24/7 for months with the exception of maybe three days. 

It’s a habit with her, it’s a way of life, and she did it to my dad, now it’s me. She will find a weak moment or your Achilles’ heel, and will not let go. 

Well, let’s face it, she’s my mom, and your mom knows your weaknesses and how to read your moods, so just like a heat sensing rocket, she hones in and knows when to strike. 

All week, it was like she was following me around carrying a big stick, and at just the right time “whack”. I know, she can’t help it, not because she has beginning signs of dementia, but because she’s bored. It seems like the times she’s truly happy is when she’s sick or arguing. She’s been this way for years; it’s a way of life.

The morning of Easter, my uncle (her older brother) came over early to keep me company while I cooked. While we all were talking my mom started up; 

Your dad hated you.”
“What are you saying? My dad didn’t hate me.
“Yes, he did.”
“Mom, dad and I were very close.”
“He was afraid to tell you how he felt.”

Ok, I know this is far from the truth. My uncle quickly told me; “Ignore her; she’s just trying to get you upset.”  Well, she did. My husband said, “Let it go, she’s not all there.” But, as I try to explain, it’s not easy to let it go when it’s coming from your mom. 

Yes, I know my mom was jealous over my dad’s and my relationship. My dad and I were like two peas in a pod. Any special event for him (He was an EX POW) I was chauffer, photographer and his loving daughter. When he was sick, I was his nurse. Over, the last five years we would go to the doctors almost every week, each way was an hour, an hour of us just talking and laughing. He would warn me how difficult it was to handle my mom. “No, problem dad, I can handle it.” Now, I realize I lied to my dad, I can’t handle it, I struggle everyday. 

I love my mom just as much as I loved my dad. I have taken care of her medical and emotional needs longer than I did with my dad. But, no matter how much I try no matter what I do, it is never enough. 

Let’s face it; our personalities, the way we see the world, everyone and everything is so different. 

She will never accept the way I am, physically, or emotionally, it’s a way of life. I will always be there for her. I will do the best that I can. I will always be her daughter. I would like someday to say I was her friend.


11 Responses to “It’s A Way Of Life”

  1. 1 seniorsafari April 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Wow. That’s rough! Is she far along in her dementia to the point that a sit-down talk with her wouldn’t do any good? Or, is she still capable of a personal discussion? You could consider telling her how she makes you feel and ask her why she does that? Tell her that you love her and you want to be her friend as well as her daughter.
    It might be worth a shot. Nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

    • 2 Nancy April 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm

      My mother’s form of dementia is from lack of protein. It’s reversible, with proper nutrition. When I first moved we would argue everyday about what she needed to eat on a daily basis. For a few months she did well, we all saw an improvement in her memory and mood. However, over a year ago she decided her old lifestyle was better. All she wants is sweet bread, cookies, candy and ice cream. Her cognitive skills are declining, and she is back to being miserable and uncaring. She is unable to have any type of personal discussion, without zoning out, or becoming argumentative. Her doctor(s) realize that I want my mother live out her remaining years physically and mentally well. But, the quality of her life is her decision not mine.
      So every day we have issues, some times I win, and sometimes I lose.
      But one thing for sure, is when her quality of life goes down, so does mine.

  2. 3 Jennifer April 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

    HI Nancy
    I am sure you are like me the minute we hear it we go for the food. Any sign of stress from family we turn to food for comfort. Im am caring for my dad he is 76. My mom and I were very close and my father is driving me Nuts!! Just breath is what my husband tells me. Then i go for the See’s.Then I look up into the sky and say “Thank you” Mother for leaving me to care for him. 😀 Good Luck..

    • 4 Nancy April 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm

      Jennifer, on those difficult days with your dad, try writing it down, putting it on paper helps. Then later you and your husband can sit down with a big box of See’s and laugh. That’s basically how my blog got started, I would write about my day, in emails to my girls. Then, later we call each other and laugh. But one day, my daughter Muriel called, and asked me to check out this blog called aginglife. Without me knowing, she created my blog.
      I had to laugh, when I read about how your husband tells you to breathe. Because it reminded me of my entry “Lamaze”, just tell him breathing doesn’t help as much as food.
      And yes, I will admit that I turn to food when I’m stressed. I keep telling my husband how nice it would be to have a personal refrigerator next to the bed instead of a nightstand.

      Nancy 🙂

  3. 5 Your BFF April 29, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Dear Nancy,

    It’s time my dear to let go and either put Mom in a home or let her have exactly what she wants. As one of the Dr.s reccomended. It is her life. Let her have the candy, sweet bread, and ice cream and if she ends up in the hospital again it is her own choice. You can stop the fighting and even have a break while the hospital gets her back in shape til the next episode. Why should you ruin your own health and sanity? It is a vicious cycle. Stop doing the dance. You have done everything you can to try to keep her alive, but she is miserable and so are you. When will you accept that you can’t change her? You aren’t God. The Serenity Prayer of the 12 Step groups is perfect. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Put it in God’s hands and LET GO.

    Your BFF, forever. I love you and hate seeing you destroy yourself like this.

    • 6 Nancy April 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      Nancy, stop worrying about me, I’m doing just fine. Mom has been getting a little better and her episodes are fewer and far between. (Or I’ve just been doing a better job in hiding). The last problem was a few days after Easter, (the coffee pot incident) and nothing since then.
      I have been gradually letting go, but it has to be done in baby steps, for her sake and mine.
      You know, for years, my mom has talked about dying, everyday she’s asks why the good Lord still has her here, and I too have placed her in God’s hands, but he’s not ready.

      Love, Nancy 🙂

      • 7 Muriel April 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm

        I think I just got a whiff of the sweet smell of denial ;D

        I’m really glad you’re still keeping up with this blog. I hope it’s helping you and the others that read it. Elderly care seems to be a topic that isn’t on many minds until they’re living through it.

        I really can’t imagine handling my dad if he had dementia; I can barely speak with him now! But, I would have to somewhat agree with your BFF. Grandma definitely needs to experience living in a home, and you definitely need a break.

      • 8 Nancy May 1, 2009 at 7:29 am

        For those reading this, Muriel is one of my daughters, and the one responsible for my blog. She has a link, on by main page titled Voir Venir. Check it out you might see a pic of me, and my family, she’s quite a photographer. Hopefully, she’ll get my other daughter Dana into blogging.

        Moo, to answer your questions;

        This blog was a great idea, it has helped me get through some difficult days, but I question if my insanity is helping others.
        As far as placing mom in a home, I’m not emotionally ready, nor, am I ready to admit defeat. Everyone needs to be patient and keep me away from all firearms.
        Now your dad, he’s crazy and I don’t think crazy people get dementia and if they did could you tell? All kidding aside, I really like your dad; he might be the easiest one to take care of. If not let Paul handle him.
        Now, here’s something to think about; who’s taking care of me you or Dana?
        Love Mom

  4. 9 seniorsafari May 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Wow! She has an awesome sight!! I LOVE the song that plays–what song is that?
    You must be a proud mama!!! 😀

  5. 11 seniorsafari May 2, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Amazing site Muriel!! Fantastic photography! I love the music choices, too. I ‘Stumbled’ it with a written review.
    Nancy, thanks for pointing it out!
    (I do digital art as a hobby. The link is on my website under 3B Digital Art)

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