It’s been a wild few weeks.
My mother has colon cancer and has opted out of seeking cures or treatment, which I totally support, especially given her age and health. We have agreed to my moving in to help care for her. I’m back in Arkansas packing and purging to move to Virginia next week. I’m moving in just before Mother’s Day so it will be nice to celebrate with my brother and mom.
We accomplished a lot and made many decisions to get ready for this journey with mom. She is very clear that she wants to stay home so we have enrolled her in Hospice. They offer a range of services and support, including nurses, CNAs, social workers, a chaplain, volunteers to visit, and of course pain management. Thankfully, the in-home services are paid for by Medicare, but if her health requires hospitalization or a nursing home, then it’s out of pocket. What a crazy medical system we have.
We wore Mom out with all the projects she wanted to complete while I was there. Learning from this, I want to be careful to pace things and provide a peaceful environment for my mother. After talking to many friends and people who have cared for aging parents, it’s clear that taking care of myself will be very important for both of us. I took many short walks and some photos during my trip. Connecting to friends and nature will be a big part of my self-care.
With my brother’s help, I realized that choices about her home, food, and schedule are about the only things left for my mother. Giving her those choices helps offer her dignity. I have a tendency to want to shelter her and make too many decisions. That day may come, but for now, she is capable, and I want to honor her right to choice and dignity. I also want to back off on the pace and need to do things. The biggest gift I can offer my mother is my presence and our time together.
I sense this will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also has the potential for developing new skills and grace. There already have been moments of heartfelt conversation and simply enjoying time with my mother.
Thank you for all the kind wishes, love, support, and prayers. Comments are closed, but you and your support are very appreciated.