Tuesday, March 17, 2009


After I got home from the gym last night, I got a phone call from my cousin Katie in SC....my Mom, who has been ill and on disability, for some time, was having trouble breathing and they had called an ambulance for her. I could hear her in the background, gasping for air, crying...while I was on the phone with Katie...I felt so helpless. It is hard, as the older child, the daughter, to not be able to be there for your mother/parent, as they age, to help take care of them.

My mother is only 59 years old, has been a smoker, heavily for most of her life. I know she has cut back over the past couple years, but she has not given it up entirely, as she has liked to lead me to believe. She has diabetes, has had a heart attack (has stints? in her heart) and is on oxygen for her breathing. I have not seen her smoke over the past couple years, but my intuition and my brother have confirmed to me that she still does.

She should be in the prime of her life, but instead, at 59, she looks and carries herself in the way of a 70 something year old woman. It breaks my heart.
I have begged her to move up here and live with me and my family, but she doesn't want to impose. She would rather spend her days alone, in her tiny little apartment, away from her grandchildren, willing herself to die.
She has not been the same since my dad passed away 10 years ago. My husband's mom is 8 years older than her, and still runs around like a woman my age.

Anyway, she was taken to the hospital, via ambulance, admitted with pneumonia and heart problems. I have not heard anything else today. I feel so helpless, and I feel like, by moving so far away 20 years ago, starting my family, she thinks I have abandoned her. With my job, my kids, unless it is an emergency, plus lack of funds, I can't just jump on a plane, or spend an entire day in the car driving to her. If they were to call me and tell me it was life/death, then I would find a way to be on the next flight out. As it is, I am beside myself with worry and pray that she does not feel as if I have abandoned her. I haven't. If only she would just move up here with me and my family. I think I could pull her out of this....get her health back on the right track, give her a reason/will to live.

Right now, all I can do is pray that she will be ok....her health could turn out ok, but how do you give someone their will/desire to live back?
How do you do that?


Anonymous said...

I hope your mom gets better. It's hard with the lifestyle she has lived to get any time back. All you can do is teach your children from her bad choices. It's still tough though, it's MOM. We only get ONE. Keep us posted, I'm sure the doctors and nurses are doing all they can to keep her pain free and stable.

Sicilian said...

Don't beat yourself up. . . . she doesn't want to come to because she doesn't want you to know she still smokes.
My mom died of lung cancer. She smoked for 50 years. Had only stopped the year before diagnosis. . . I was far away too so I know what you feel like.

Real Life Drama Queen said...

Oh honey. Many hugs. Hang in there. Only advice I can give is to talk to her again. But only people can change themselves. Took me along time to grasp that myself. Explain to her how you feel. Tell her, it is no imposition. the Imposition is her not taking you up on your offer and causing you worry. I hope that will help and she will listen. Many hugs.

i beati said...

Just keep stating how much you care, tell them they can do it over and over and give them ways to be healthy - foods, treatments for breathing etc. blessings to all sandy