Thursday, January 19, 2012

A better me.

I was at the studio by 8am, waiting for the furnace repairman to come.  I called them to come and check it, because it makes so much noise.  Now, understand, it has ALWAYS sounded like a Volkswagen taking off, but lately, it has been even worse.  When it's running, the vibration is deafening.
We don't use it often, the pellet stove on one end of the house, and the Monitor heater on the other end, keep the big old house fairly comfortable.......but I want to have it in good running order for a back up.

The bad news is that the heat exchangers have apparently rusted apart, or some such nonsense.
It will last a while, but it probably means there is a NEW furnace in my future.

I consoled myself weaving in front of the pellet stove, which was roaring a beautiful flame, with the sun  pouring through the window next to me.
More placemats, different fabric.   I am building up  quite a stash.

Right outside the window, is what's left of my hydrangea bush.
I think it's still quite lovely.

I have been thinking a lot about responsibility, commitment, and promises.  Spoken and unspoken.
I remember my father sitting  at my kitchen table, about a week before he died.
He asked me, with a nod towards my mother, "What about her?"
I said, "I will take care of her. You don't have to worry about that."
And I meant it.
Seven years have passed.
And there are days that I feel like a fly on fly paper.  Stuck.  Trapped.
 Just not knowing what to do next.

I don't like feeling  like the 'resentful caregiver', but truth is.........sometimes I do.

I have thought a whole lot about it.  I have pried into the corners of my brain, searched for answers, evaluated the options, and then done it again.

What I have come up with is this:

 I need to try harder.  I need to dig deeper.  I need to breathe and let some of it go.
I need to be better.
A lot better.

I guess it's ok to have flaws.
I know that I do.

Sometimes, I just wish that life could be as simple as this......stacks of rugs, bursting with color.
Nothing more, nothing less


Hilary said...

And sometimes it is. Those times are bonus. Most of the time there's just reality.

You do fine.. and of course we can all do better.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that it's also good to know our limitations and that when things get beyond us, it okay to ask for help, even if it isn't in the way we would like.

I think it's really easy for caregivers to think they can take care of everything if they just try harder or plan better. Sometimes, it's just more than any one person is capable of.

Part of letting go is letting go of any guilt that might make you feel like you didn't do your best.

You do your best and you know it.

Sue said...

It's ok to feel resentful, as long as you don't take it out on anyone (including yourself!) Feelings are just feelings, it's actions that count.

After my boyfriend passed, I had 2 separate friends (who did not know each other) ask why I had stuck with him thru the last months. He was mean, and they knew it. I knew it was fear that was making him like that, and I stayed for me, not him. You are setting a wonderful example for your kids on how we treat our elders, and hopefully if it comes to it they will do the same for you.

Deb said...

Aren't we ladies just pros at feeling guilty. You would have to be a robot to not have all those feelings you described. Those walks with Roy must help you put all in perspective; a new fresh look at your life.

spindrift,maine said...

Hilary, dear-- Although I have to remind myself about this often, I really believe that those of us who care for loved ones with dementia and related ailments have to learn *not* how to be "better", but rather how to accept that what we do is enough. I do not believe that it is possible to do what we do without occasionally feeling resentment, frustration, loneliness...anger. Montana Wildflower has it right. (She probably has to remind herself of her convictions, too, on a bad day or two or ten.) It is just plain hard. The demands are enduring and painful. The reality is that we experience loss, (death, really) of the person we love--drop by drop for years and years. No human person connected to her/his heart can do that without feeling the full gamut of human feeling. You are doing fine by your mom. You are doing enough. You are being a loving, caring, responsible daughter. Isn't it lucky that you have an occupation that affords you to be in control--make things just the way you want, be in charge of the outcome. Caring for a person with dementia is nothing like that. Weave on, good woman, weave on!! xo

Country Girl said...

But it is as simple as that. This is what it's like when you're in the studio. The studio is your soul, but then you already know this.

Nancy said...

Being a caregiver is the most difficult job in the world. Taking care of a parent is never easy. So many emotions. Never feel guilty! You are giving it your all and that is as much as you can do. Don't beat yourself up. You are only human. I speak from experience.

Unknown said...

I was a caregiver to both of my parents. It is ok to take sometime for yourself and take of you. Hugs going out, I have been down this path before!

cobaltandindigo (Molly) said...

Oh Hilary - this just makes my heart ache for you. While my situation is completely different, I'm under a lot of stress in my life too, and I do really wish most days for a simpler less emotionally complicated existence. We'll get there, someday, I hope! In the meantime I'm going to just continue to try and find or create positive moments to celebrate amongst the rest of the messy less pleasant stuff, all the time trying to stay present in each moment and keep perspective.

And your weaving is definitely something to celebrate! It's a bright spot in my day, just looking at it on a computer screen. I dream of how nice it will be to have placemats or a rug from your studio someday, hopefully soon. And remember you're already dealing with a lot, with the headache and all - don't judge yourself too harshly. It's okay to be tired and stressed out and all of that - it's kind of logical, actually!

Daryl said...

Been there, done that and know how you feel .. hugs to you

Karen said...

No easy answers.

My mother lives in a retirement community and really loves it, feels very comfortable there and has made lots of friends. Is this an option for your mom, or is she not able to live on her own? My mother was able to financial buy in to the community too, that can be an issue also. I think the average "home" there is about $100,000. There are also senior programs in our area where a bus comes to pick up any who want to go to the grocery store, to church, to a movie, etc. I know there's a fee... but it gives folks who are otherwise homebound a way to get out and do things without burdening family members who are already busy with work, etc. I believe it's the estuary council service in this part of the woods.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts