Sunday, March 05, 2006

You know what they say about how hard it is to care for a dying parent? Care-giver groups, counseling, and hospice all make a point about the family member needing to get away, get out, not spend all their time in the sick room. I suppose they are right. But I'm ignoring them. I don't want to be at the movies when my mother needs me. I don't want to be shopping, or in my case window-shopping, and leaving her to the care of a stranger who will help her get on and off the commode. She is so quiet now I miss the way she needed me every two minutes a week ago and I couldn't get anything done. What did I want to do that was so important to me I'd get irritated? I can't remember now. Last night she tried to put her robe on while I was out of her room, and she fell. She looked so sad. No broken bones, but how terribly sad to find yourself unable to put your own housecoat on without help. I'm her only daughter, so I'm the one she can ask for help with "private" things. She and my Dad have been married for 63 years, almost 64, but they never shared the bathroom I guess. He couldn't help anyway. He can hardly walk. My brother and I got her settled on the bed she so rarely leaves. When we were out of her earshot (doesn't have to be far for that) I asked him, "How do you know it (helplessness, weakness)is going to get that bad until it gets that bad? Until you are there?

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