There are days my idiocy startles even me! Really. Today is one of those days.
If you remember from my last post, “in a heartbeat”, you’ll know what I’m dealing with now. Today my mom is doing much better. She’s working hard in therapy and will be coming home in about a week. But with her improved condition, she’s also returned to her stubbornness. I came home from the hospital thoroughly stressed out and ready to pull out what hair I haven’t already lost these past three weeks. (It’s a good thing I have a lot of it.)
She called me a few minutes ago to tell me she passed a cognitive test with flying colors which considering how hard her head “kissed” the sidewalk, is really, really good news. After we ended our conversation, the phrase, “Just love her,” came into my mind. I believe that epiphany was from God. (If you don’t like “religious” talk, just move on. I’m not offended.)
The feeling I experienced after our conversation was vastly different from what I’d felt when I left the hospital today. It felt warm and cozy. It felt “right”. I felt such pride in her accomplishment and such love for her. Light-bulb flash! This is how I want to feel. I don’t want to be her police officer, her mother, her know-it-all daughter. Besides, when I think about her life and what’s she’s accomplished with little education, no high-paying job, and under difficult circumstances, I am humbled. I couldn’t have done it.
The words, “Just love her”, overwhelmed me. I knew the Source of those words. After this last week of feeling no connection with God and wondering where He was, today I know exactly where He was. Right where He needed to be. Helping me make all the right medical decisions for her because she couldn’t. Inserting the right people with the right information at the right time. Keeping me from sinking. And now this.
I was making all these plans for my mom. Orchestrating her entire life. I was developing a plan to make sure I covered all the bases. Giving others a “talking-to” to bring them on board. I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating much. I was going to end up in the hospital myself if kept it up. And then,
“Just love her”.
What a relief! I can just love and enjoy her. She isn’t going to change-thank God. Her stubbornness is what accounts for her tenacity. It’s why she’s working so hard during therapy. I can love her for her stubbornness.
I’m going to continue to enjoy my life which means not micro-managing hers. Will I, too, revert back to some of my old habits? Of course. But I honestly believe I’ve turned a necessary corner in our relationship. One that allows both of us dignity and autonomy.
I wish you had walked with me this last week. I wish you could have seen how events have transpired. I wish you could have the tears I’ve shed when no one was watching. The overwhelming guilt at times because she fell at my house. On my sidewalk. And then I wish you could see how I’m sitting here tonight, still depression-free. Despite it all.
I don’t know what you’re going through tonight. I hope you haven’t had a week like mine, but I know some of you have had a much worse week. I wish it were otherwise.