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Friday, January 19, 2007

Better news

Today was my mother's 75th birthday, and yes, I went to visit her. She is now in a nearby nursing home, getting physical therapy...and remarkably, she seems to be improving. Nothing like a hospital to kill someone, huh? She was moved to this rehab wing in the nursing home yesterday, and I was amazed (and glad) at how well she looked today. She was wearing jeans and a pretty blue pullover, her color was better, and she could actually take steps and get into her wheelchair. I took her a lovely birthday card, and signed it with my name and Oscar, Rambo and all the cats. She got a chuckle out of that. I also gave her some cash, told her to get whatever she wanted with it.

I'm not heartless (thanks to my paternal grandparent's influence). I am, in many ways, still an injured, hurt child inside when it comes to my mother and father. I really will NEVER feel that either of them loved me, because their actions demonstrated otherwise. I don't think I love my mother either; at times I mostly feel compassion and sorrow. Even pity. And often, regret that probably I never learned how to love people due to my parents' inability to love their children (I DO love my dogs/cats -- but humans, I can't seem to truly like or care about, much less love). However, I am not an unfeeling monster either. Hence, I visited today, gave mother the gift, stayed a long while with her and my sisters.

I will be able to visit her occasionally now, since she is only several blocks from where I live. When my paternal grandmother was in a different nearby nursing home, I visited her almost daily, even if for just thirty minutes or an hour. Of course, I bonded with her when I was a child; she was more like a mother to me. Still, I'll drop in on mother and take her things to cheer her up.

I don't know if she's terminal; she looked so much improved, I think she might just pull out of this. She has no I.V., is eating well, and much more alert. You see, she should have been in a nursing home right after my step-dad died; he'd done everything for her, and they lived a very quiet, stay-at-home existence. Trying to live with my sister, who has LOTS of company, and took mother here and there all the time, or left mother alone for long stretches of time...I think it contributed to her health failing (as well as my step-dad's death). When you are in that kind of frail, fragile health, your life must be curtailed, peaceful, following similar routines so you are NOT subjected to a lot of turmoil and distress. AND, most importantly, you need the kind of physical aid/help that most families simply cannot give.

Or maybe she'll get worse, there's no way of knowing. But I do know that my paternal grandmother rallied after being put in the nursing home (after an initial period of adjustment) and lived nearly three years there. She had a wonderful, well-suited lady room-mate for most of that time, and friends/family visited her often. It's not the best place to be, but IF you are that frail, sometimes it is the only place to be.

Time will tell, I suppose.

My inner demons regarding my parents will always be with me, of that I am convinced. I would advise parents out there, be careful how you treat your children, love them and teach them to love, or you might never be forgiven for NOT being good parents. Or, you might just raise a psychopath who will murder others or you someday. Males are far less likely to sit back and forgive and forget; that's why most psychos are men. Women are more apt to internalize the anger, turn it on themselves, and not be confrontational with abusive parents. Nevertheless, if you mistreat/abuse/neglect your children, always remember that someday you may really, really NEED their help/their love and they simply will be incapable of giving it because of YOUR behavior in the past.

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