Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Clumsy and Awkward – Dealing with changes in a Parent’s life

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 Mom in her new room...
The view from my Mom's new suite... looking into the Atrium... where it is always summer
Clumsy and Awkward – Dealing with changes in a Parent’s life
Sheesh I don’t know how to react.  Sometimes I just feel clumsy… even at 69 years old!

I have felt this since I was a boy.  In fact as far back as I can remember. In the strange new situation I am simply “dumb” and maybe “numb” not knowing what to do or say.

It is a personal deficiency I am sure – maybe “being born this way” could explain it all.

I stood yesterday in the hallway outside my Mom’s new room almost unable to move, definitely with “clumsy” all over me. My wife however was functioning at her best as she helped my Mom settle into her new digs at senior’s residence.  I was not in my element and she was right into hers – totally.

I can stand in front of an audience of thousands and easily speak without even breaking a sweat. I can talk to total strangers with great ease.  But put me into this awkward ‘family issue thing’ and I do not do so well. I am clumsy – 100%.

Leaving Mom to sleep in her new room and new place is maybe the hardest thing I have done this year or maybe this decade.

One of my friends suggested, as they had also gone through this a few years back, that it is like the day your little kids went to school.  They have been at home with you for the early years and now they are about to climb on the school bus… and leave home for the day.  It is totally difficult to let them go!

I could not agree more.  That is exactly the feeling that I had last evening as we said Good Night to Mom.  There she was in her new room, a new bed, a new bathroom, with new lighting to get used to… new everything.  How will she do?

Well it is now almost morning and my mind is wondering if it all went well… oh boy!

We had dropped by to see how she was getting on last evening – just before her bedtime.

Mom was bubbling over with new stories of how a friend of hers had dropped by her room, helped her get into her wheel chair (rather than take the walker) and pushed her down the hallways to look around.  The friend is the same age as she is.

Mom loves people and has now found a place where she fits right in.

Good Lord I have a new problem. Mom loves it there… but it is “respite care” and she will be returning to our place in a little while. This is only a try-out stage of her life.  And living in our home with the care she gets is great – except that there are few friends that just drop by to push her down the hallway.  There are no movie nights to attend…. We have created a new problem for ourselves.

That “little one” that we were afraid to let “get on the bus” is enjoying school… and well… things will be different from now on.

That “little one”, called ‘Mom’, loves her new digs and may not be ready to come home again.

I feel clumsy again.  I don’t know what to do.  I am the very confused son that is… sheesh – rather “dumb” at this moment.

At 69 years old I should have it all together – but I don’t!

Later this afternoon I will be checking on her again. This time I may have to look for her… she will have found another new friend.  And my business with her will be more remote than ever.

And I saw the way ‘that old guy” looked at her.  His that widower that I met a few weeks back… lonely… and a great guy… BUT NO WAY!

Good LORD!  NO!  It could never happen.  That is all that I need now at this stage of my life!!! NO! NO!! NO!!!.

Good Lord in Heaven – why did you create me to be so “clumsy”??

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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