A sad update

 

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This photo was taken of my mother this past Thanksgiving at my cousin’s home in Brooklyn.

Today we had the dreaded family meeting at the rehab where my mother is recuperating from her stroke.

 

While my mother has made many strides since her stroke on March 1, they don’t anticipate that she will ever be able to live without 24 hour care.  I had come to the same conclusion, but hearing it from the professionals has made me profoundly sad.

Wen I was four, my  mother’s father died.  Right after the shiva, my grandmother moved in with us. She and I shared a room.  About  nine months later, my grandmother had a severe stroke. My parents were my grandmother’s primary caregivers.

This is a road my mother knows well as a caregiver. Now, she is the one being cared for.

 

When my sisters and I  recall those years we remember how completely stressed both of our parents were.  My sisters and I are quite a bit older than our parents were during those difficult years.  All of our kids are also older and less needy than we were during those years.

I am grateful for friends and family members who have been so kind to all of us during this time. The people who listen, who ask how I am, and really want to know, the people who have understood why I need to husband my energies and can’t open my Passover table quite as wide this year…many thanks to you all. I am touched by my dear friend who sent me a book she knew I would want ( it was on my secret lust list) and it arrived today when I was just feeling so sad.

Comments

  1. Dear Sarah -
    I am just 14 months beyond 6 years and 1 month of assisting my Mother through a series of strokes and other health issues. Like you, I come from a family with a history of caring for our loved ones. She lived for several years in a beloved, self-selected senior apartment, surrounded by friends and next door to her church. My sister & I, assisted occasionally by my daughters and my brothers assisted increasingly with the daily routines of living. In November 2011, during yet another hospitalization, the family made the decision that our Mother needed 24 hour care. She was often confused and in pain, but she was adamant, she did not want to live with any of us! Returning to her apartment was not feasible because her health was declining rapidly. With assistance from the hospital staff, we moved her from to a lovely small home setting where our large & somewhat unruly family could come & go at all hours to spend time with her. Within 3 weeks, she decided that the dependent life did not suit her, and she died in our arms, but at peace.

    Sarah, this will be a stressful time for all of you. Be kind to yourself, be firm about your limits. You have raised wonderful children, do not hesitate to let them shoulder some of the load at home (and with your Mother if they choose.) And if your friends and frequent visitors at your table offer, let them take care of you!
    I am wishing you peace at this difficult time.
    Sue in MN

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  2. Sarah, I am very sorry that the news is not better. I had so hoped that she would be okay. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  3. Oh Sarah, I am sad for you. big hugs all the way from here.
    It is hard for you when you are not close by and can pop in now and then.
    I am glad you have friends who are being understanding and caring.
    Sandy

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  4. Very sorry to hear your news. My prayers are with you.

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  5. Even virtual support from my internet friends is deeply appreciated. I realize that we all know one another for quite a long time now.

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  6. Sarah- you and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers. I have worked with seniors for years and know what families go thru. Caregiving is endless and not enough people realize how vital and underappreciated a role it is. We don't have enough good options for the elderly in this country. But off my soapbox. Speak up if you feel the need to vent- I will listen. Hug the kids- watching the younger generation can give an amazing perspective when caring for seniors. And you will see your mom in your kids actions. Hang in there! TC

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