Thursday, January 24, 2013


Greg told me today that several people at his job, both co-workers and clients, asked after and expressed sympathy for us and for my mother.  I realized that if I hadn't called my boss on Sunday and told him I would be out a few days, it's entirely possible no one would have noticed.  I kind of assumed he would tell the department I sit in (even though I'm not part of it), but judging by the Oh hey, you're back, where have you been? this morning apparently that didn't happen.

I remember at my old job when I called my boss to tell her my father had passed away, she cried.  Here no one even knows me, really, or anything about what's going on.  I feel pretty adrift a lot of the time at work, being departmentless and kind of alone, but today I really felt lonely.

My mother hasn't gotten out of bed since she went home from the hospital.  My brother and sister haven't gone to see her, both being an hour or more away, and both being busy with medical procedures of their own and looking for an assisted living place for Mom.  Greg says I need to remember that they love her, too, and I can't control everything.  But it just makes me cry to think that there's no one there to be sweet to Mom.

I know she doesn't just need someone to be sweet to her, I know that won't change everything.  She's in pain and she's sad and she doesn't seem to want to be here anymore.

I just can't get over feeling like sitting at a desk working on spreadsheets is so stupid when there's no one to hold Mom's hand.

I don't really understand what's happening and I'm afraid I'm doing the wrong things at the wrong time. Everything seems so potentially important: should I call Mom's nurse and tell her she needs to get Mom up whether she wants to or not?  Should I call my sister and tell her to stop going to church stuff and go see poor Mom now? Should I drive up there myself? Is the fact that I seem to be freaking out more than anyone else a clue that I'm overreacting?

I guess it's possible that my brother and sister will get Mom moved into an assisted living place and she'll settle in there and get stronger.  But it seems like a remote possibility to me right now.


  1. I wish I had the words to make this okay but I know so keenly how you feel and I ache for you. Its so hard having to hold down a job when all you want is to hold your mom's hand. Can you go back and see her on the weekend? Sending so much love.

    1. I am planning to ask my boss for a work at home day one Friday soon and go up to see her again. I am feeling a little less panicky since I wrote this, and even though my heart still cries to be with Mom I am going to wait until she, hopefully, is moved into the new place and go visit her there. Thanks for the sympathy, Angella, I appreciate it.

  2. Sweetie, I understand and feel for you. Yep, if my sister was doing all church-shit when she could be seeing about Mom you can bet there would be a "come to Jesus" meeting happening. Selfish cow.
    The people you work around don't really know you yet and you do work with some non-warm fuzzy people part of the time. Start cultivating friendshis with the warm people and give some of the cold ones a chance by pouring love all over them. Some of them just aren't well socialized.But "oh hey, you're back!" isn't a bad reaction. It means they missed you even if they didn't know why you were out.
    If you need some control, do some on-line and phone research on AL facilities. Ask the staff at your mom's current domicile if they can reccomend anywhere. Call your mom and ask her if any of her friends went to other places and liked them. Call the Senior Citizens center in the town and ask them.
    Is there a special nurse's aide at your mom's current place who she especially likes? Call that lady and wire her twenty bucks to spend ten on your mom's favorite candy, take them to your mom and watch Wheel of Fortune with her.
    Don't be miserable, sweetie. Take whatever action you can from a distance. Send your mom a postcard every day - go to a hotel gift store and buy all of the pretty ones.
    And please don't feel alone and lonely - lots of people love you even if they don't work with you <3

    1. To be fair, my sister has been running around looking for an assisted living place to provide some medical care for Mom, and is arranging everything for her to move very soon. I was just disappointed when I realized no one was going to visit Mom, at all, for days.

      I'm trying to be a bit more open with the people I work with, so they have an idea of what's happening. They are all very nice, I was just having a bad day. And I feel your love, Wooz, and I thank you for it.

  3. Wow, I hope you don't think I am stalking, but I really have to put your posts on my blog roll. We are living parallel lives and I think reading your posts would have been very therapeutic for me, to know others are struggling with eerily similar lives. My mom was very ill from December to January, I am the child who moved away. My brother and sister are the children who stayed. There is more baggage and guilt and resentment flowing between the three of us than I could ever articulate or even understand. It's very hard to feel helpful or even like a good child from across the country, and since my Mom struggles financially, and with my own kids not quite raised up yet and a job that keeps me struggling, I haven't visited for a while, but writing checks. It costs me a bundle to fly out, rent a car and visit and it's been a very long time since I was physically there to help. I'm going next week. It's only money.
    But there is only so much a person can do, and what my mom wants is to sit and visit, so I am going.
    My situation is stranger than yours though, as my brother lives with mom and my sister lives 7 miles away, but they are estranged, and all our relationships have been strained by substance abuse, distance and sibling rivalry or something I can't understand. I moved away thirty years ago and they stayed and I'm sure they resent me for not coming back more often. But I can count on one hand the number of times anyone ever came to visit me, and I offered to pay for the travel, and since I had kids, travelling to see family was almost the only vacation we got for twenty years. Once the kids got old enough and too busy enough I just couldn't do it as often anymore and maybe I decided that they let go of me, not the other way around. But now that infirmity looming, the game has changed. I deal with legal and financial things from afar, and do what I can, but it is not a good situation. Most difficult in our situation is that mom is a hoarder and will not consider leaving her stuff for any kind of assisted living, let alone clear a path for a walker or wheel chair if it comes to that. Any attempt to elder proof her home results in nobody loves me suicide talk and tears. I know I need to be in therapy to deal with all this, but instead, I blog, but I don't really talk too much about this, unless I find someone else who is going through some of the same stress.
    Anyway, sorry to unload, it's just good for me to read your posts and know that I am not the only one struggling with all these emotions.
    I hope your Mom is doing well. I hope I don't go insane next week while I am there in the land of dysfunction and crazy. Maybe I'll blog about it, if I can find the words.

    1. Oh Mel, my heart breaks for you and your mother in such an unbearable situation. How old is your mother? I'm sure being a hoarder is making things impossibly difficult.

      If you are there now, I hope your visit at least has moments of connection and love, even if they are surrounded by moments of stress and dysfunction. Feel free to come here to unload any time, especially if it's something you can't find the words or strength to blog about.


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