For the past two and half years my mom has been living in a nursing facility that specializes in dementia. She is now also on Medicaid. I presently am visiting her and my thoughts have traveled back, to when I first realized, that this would soon be our family's new reality.
My Heart is Aching (written March 2013)
During the week, I discovered that mom's money would shortly be running out. We are now getting closer to the moment, when she will have to go on Medicaid, and be admitted into a nursing home. Her condition is progressing, and my brother and I do not know how long she will be able to stay in her home.
I as her daughter, feel so saddened, and am left with a heaviness that I can hardly explain. I honestly feel a little lost. How can I do this to my mother? How can I abandon her? How can I just put her into a nursing home, when she still has moments of aliveness? How cruel can I be? What now are my choices?
I have so many things to think about, and hope that I will be able to do the best I can for her. I do not want to upset or hurt her. The strange thing is that mom will probably not even realize what is happening and, if she does, she immediately will forget it. Her wishes and my promises to never leave her home will be broken.
My emotions are running wild. I know in my heart that I am not alone in this. I know that this scenario happens every day to so many other families. My writing and being able to express myself helps ease my pain.
The nursing homes are filled with so many people and have long waiting lists especially in the Alzheimer units. The beds do not free up quickly, the victims of Alzheimer's can live for years and years with this terminal illness.
I was aware that this would be happening, just not realizing when I would have to face this. Now what? Was I living in denial, or choosing to live in the moment? Maybe we have some more time? Could mom bounce back again? Are our calculations incorrect? I think, I pray, and I wonder.
I passed a homeless man several days ago and felt so troubled by seeing him. He had no place to live, no shelter, nor food to eat. It was an epiphany that hit me, for I flashed on my mom.
has stolen her life from her, yet not the love I know she can still feel. Nor the warmth and comfort of her own bed. I must stay grateful for all the blessings that we have in our life, and know that the world still has some miracles.
I awoke with only thoughts of my mom. I felt queasy and I was left with frets of fears, along with all the many decisions that will have to be made. Do I bring her back to New York? Can I even find a nursing home for her? Or should I have her remain in Florida, where she and my brother both live?
As I spoke to mom and shared how much I missed her, without telling her how my heart was aching, she said "do not worry, for we will get to see each other soon." At that very moment my heart broke in two.
I know that I must lighten up. Oh how I despise this horrific disease that robs you of your dignity and your life.
I cry out wanting only for my mother to hold me as when I was a young child, to comfort me as I snuggle into her arms. I want her to reassure me, that everything will be okay!