105 Ways to Give a Book

My Mother's Mother

I had hoped that I'd be able to tap into my Reader side this week, but the Mother part of me is crowding out everything else mentally. The difference this time is that it is being the mother to my mother.

So again, we have another personal post instead of anything to do with books, reading, or libraries. (Though to be fair to myself, it is my personal stories day.) I had thought I'd sit her in the business center room of the Radisson and tidy up some notes into a review or two. But instead there's a steady flow of Muzak that may be damaging my psyche and all I can think about is my own experience, right now.

I wouldn't talk about this openly if my mom read my blog, but she doesn't understand the Internet. Honestly though there's nothing that we haven't talked about anyway. Especially now that we're here in Baltimore beginning her treatments at Johns Hopkins. I never thought it would be easy, but I didn't think it would be this hard.

I couldn't have predicted the heat wave that makes it impossible to go outside for any length of time, nor could I have planned for a nearby water main break that has shut down some of the local eateries I was counting on. Maybe I should have been more realistic about my mom's strength in being able to walk a few blocks, and I could have been less optimistic about the side effects of treatment. I know I've been too hopeful about her ability to handle more on her own, and that worries me.

I have faith in the radiation therapy done with the best doctors in the best hospital in the country. But the fact that she's not feeling good or strong now, at the very beginning, is not a promising look at the next month. I feel bad for her, certainly, but I kind of feel bad for myself. (And feel guilty for feeling that way.) It's hard taking charge, making decisions, missing work, and leaving my kids behind to manage all this in another city. Talking among my friends, I know I'm not alone in the sandwich generation - taking care of kids and aging parents simultaneously - but haven't figured out how to manage it. Except, perhaps, one day at a time.

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Jen Robinson said...

I have nothing helpful to offer, Pam. But I do send virtual hugs.

One day at a time is all any of us can do.

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I was about to say almost exactly what Jen Robinson did... so consider it seconded.

No, you are not alone. And no, it's not easy. Thankfully, my mother-in-law was within a half-hour of us, and we were able to find good care for her when she could no longer care for herself.

But it's never easy, even with help. And the feelings you feel are valid and normal. Be as gentle and caring to yourself as you can, and if this is likely to go on for a while (as it sounds like it might), see whether you can get some other family members to spell you. Also, talk to the social worker at the hospital, who may know of resources that could help both your mom and you.

Charlotte said...

ah gee, that's hard. But I'll hope for you that it at least doesn't get to much harder...and the heat breaks, at least.

Unknown said...

Thoughts and prayers... hope things get a little easier.

Stomach Toning said...

I know you've been too hopeful about her ability to handle more on her own, and that worries me.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to reach out to friends (online and off) for support as well. I'm sure you already are. Some just need to be told what they can do,and they'll be there for you!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you. I recently spent a day at Johns Hopkins for a spinal biopsy -- happily, benign -- and they're really the best. Warm wishes to you and your mother.