Communication with my sisters has had its ups and downs. We’ve all been going through a great deal of suffering about our Mom’s illness, and facing the thought of losing her someday has been almost unbearable. That in itself has changed the course of our lives.
I spoke to Kathy the other night about our mom and we talked about how we wish us sisters could be close again. I am the only sister who talks to Annie and I have been trying to get them all to reach out to each other. Annie is struggling with the fact that Renee placed Mom in a home and Lynda and Kathy didn’t do anything to stop her. I told Kathy, Lynda has been really distant with me and I don’t understand why, unless Renee has something to do with it. About the only communication I get from Lynda is an occasional text, telling me she loves me. I miss talking to her. It would be so nice to have all of my sisters back. There's just so much drama!
On the subject of Mom being in a nursing home, Kathy told me Mom needed to be placed there. I told her I disagree. I said that Mom went into the home only a year after her diagnosis, after we promised her we wouldn’t do that to her. She could walk unassisted, have conversations, feed herself, go to the bathroom on her own, she knew who we were, and quite frankly, I feel that she went to the nursing home way too soon! The only reason why Mom was placed, aside from the obvious fact that Renee took her and put her there, is because us girls couldn’t get our act together and come together as a family, as Mom’s daughters, to care for her. We fought with each other about who and how, what and when, instead of communicating effectively. The only family meeting we had was the one meeting right after getting Mom's diagnosis. That's it (although I tried and tried). I told Kathy we failed Mom. We couldn’t put our differences aside and think about what was best for Mom and how we were going to do what’s best for her. With five daughters there’s no reason why our Mom should’ve had to go into a nursing home, especially this early in the disease. We let Mom down. Kathy said she never thought of it that way. She started to cry. We both did.
Kathy and I also talked about the fact that I wanted to come back home and care for Mom as soon as I found out Renee was going to place her. She said that Renee didn’t want a temporary solution. I said, what would it hurt for me to come back home and care for Mom for six months? It would give Mom some more time in her home, to be around her family, which makes Mom happy, to have Sunday dinners with the family, and to save the $6,400 a month in nursing home costs. What would be so wrong with that? Not to mention the fact that this might have patched up some hurt feelings with us sisters and bring us back together again as we used to be. Kathy agreed that she wished we could have made that happen. She never wanted Mom put in a home, but Renee obviously used her power of persuasion.
It’s too late now. Mom’s been in the nursing home for 14 months. She is doing okay at times, but I believe she has declined more rapidly as a result of being there. It’s a nice place, but most of the residents are much more advanced than she is. Most of them just sleep and many of them can’t speak. Mom is not able to see her family very often as most of us are at least three hours away. To me, it’s important to have the family around. Mom is constantly asking to see her great grandson, whom she practically raised, and to go back home, and for all of us to be together. She doesn’t have her familiar surroundings, or her family, and that makes me sad to see her long for that. Because she is losing her memory, I think it’s important to have those familiar around her.
Renee is the one that sees Mom the most as she has placed her in a home in the town where she lives. Mom has shown some frustration towards Renee and we have all heard it. I know that it is probably because Renee is the one who is called when Mom is having a difficult time with bathing, taking meds, etc. I am sure that it must be very demanding and frustrating for Renee to have to deal with this on a daily basis, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for her because she put Mom there, without our knowledge or approval. Renee and Mom have had personality clashes in the past and it is apparent even still.
I am praying hard and trying to forgive Renee for what she’s done. We used to be so close. I have to make peace with it, but I feel that she needs to explain why she did what she did, so that I can understand why she shut us out. She gets very defensive, and then I get defensive, and we can’t talk without getting into a heated argument. That’s why we don’t talk anymore. I love her and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. I pray about it, and some days I feel better about everything, but more often than not I feel this deep sadness that we let our Mom down. Renee let her down, and I guess we all did in our own way, and she let us down by not listening to any of us. She’s our mom, too. We want what’s best for her, too. Instead we are left to feel that we’ve lost all rights as Mom’s daughters the day she took over. If you have been following along on my blog, you will understand why I feel this way.
I’m praying for us all because we have a much tougher road ahead of us and we need all of the prayer support we can get. I would appreciate it if you would remember my family in your prayers. Thank you, and God bless you.