...we all cope with it in our own unique way. Some ways healthy. Some ways not.
Monday August 3rd was the last time I helped Mom to the bathroom. Normally a 10-15 minute act took over 90 minutes. She forgot how to get out of bed. Forgot how to use her limbs. Was confused. Was in pain. It took every last ounce of strength I had (with Casey's help) to manuever Mom into Dad's walker seat, help her into the bathroom then help her back out.
Once she was settled back into bed, she asked me to take her home. I promised I would. (And we will). Mom said she had a favor to ask. As she motioned for me to lean in closer, she said "When things change and you know they will, I want you to take care of yourself. I want you to put yourself first and do what makes YOU happy. I want you to have fun and travel and be good to yourself."
So that's what I've been doing for the past month.
I've slept late every chance I've had. Visited CO. Poured my heart out to close friends. Spruced up my wardrobe with vibrant colors. Bought books I've wanted to read. Bought not one but two pair of ASICS Gel Kayano 22. Bought fragrance that didn't have a memory attached. Ditched the cane I've been using (and hated) for this Storm Trooperish gizmo (in white) that has made me all sorts of happy and has allowed me to walk better, farther, faster and safer AND has improved my balance to where I can walk unassisted in some places. (Not all places, that's a work in progress. Take that, Anxiety Disorder). Booked overdue Dr's appts. Dentist appts. Washed my car. Cleaned out my closets. Cried when I needed to cry. Cuddled with Fatso at every opportunity. Smiled more.
Not all of my coping methods were positive. There was that 3 week span when I drank enough Coke and ate enough junk food to add 5 unwanted pounds. But that's come and gone and I'm no longer eating my feelings. For the most part. (Talking to you Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies.)
Not as bad as turning to drugs or booze I kept telling myself. Which I'd never do in the first place so why even say it, ya know?
It's been said that money can't buy happiness. I feel to a certain extent, it can. Many of my purchases have made me wildly happy and content. Several have improved my quality of life and improved my health. It feels good to take care of me and say yes instead of always saying no.
Thanks for speaking up, Mom. I appreciate the effort it took to share your last moment of clarity with me and I'll remember your message for the rest of my life.
I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.