This post is hard to write, however; I have no where else to vent, and need desperately to process what has happened.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and inadvertently my two daughters and I had booked a mani-pedi for that date, the original intention being one last pampering for my middle daughter before she goes into labour with her second child. The Saturday before I had asked all the kids to come home and help set up the backyard for summer (we’d had the pool opened on Wednesday).
After dinner on Saturday, as my adult children were leaving, they mentioned that I might take a cab and meet them at the spa the next morning. I agreed, exhausted as I was, and ready to have my quiet house back.
When I woke up the next morning I began to rethink the situation. Taking a cab to the spa was going to add an additional $50 to the bill. Also, would I need my wheelchair or my walker? The venue was unknown to me and I felt that always just-under-the-surface panic starting to rise.
Shouldn’t I be spending the money and energy visiting my husband in the hospital, I began to reason. I’d already spent $100 on dinner the night before, and the issue of money is fast becoming a problem, given my husband’s current state of health.
“Are you still okay with taking a cab?” my eldest asked when she called.
“Will I need a walker or a wheelchair?”
“Maybe a wheelchair.”
“And sit there waiting for you to find me? I’m thinking I won’t go.”
“What? You were okay with it last night! Mom, are you crying?”
“I’ll call you back.” My emotions were now bubbling up, brewing up a concoction of instability. It’s only a twelve-minute drive, after all I’ve done for them, is it too much to ask?
“I’m coming to get you!” She called me back.
“I’m around the corner, be outside waiting,” was her next call.
As she tossed my walker in the backseat, I knew she was angry. By the time I lowered myself into her front seat and closed the door she started.
“You were okay with it last night? I was having a nice morning, enjoying my tea while the kids played and you had to ruin it. It’s Mother’s Day and I couldn’t even enjoy my morning tea!”
“I won’t go,” I said reaching for the door.
She stepped on the gas, thrusting her arm across me. “No, we’re going!”
An onslaught of bile drenched me for the rest of the journey. Some of it registered; some was lost.
We stopped to pick up her sister, and drove to the venue. I just wanted to run (but, of course, I haven’t been able to do that for some time.) I contemplated getting a cab then.
I stayed for the manicure instead and then left. I was emotionally and physically drained, and could no longer fight back the tears. I cried softly in the back of the cab as the driver plied me with questions about how my children were celebrating me this Mother’s Day.
Later I texted my pregnant daughter: Are you upset me with me also?
She agreed that she was, but disagreed with her elder sister’s tactics. I really just miss my strong, intellectual, free-spirited, happy and independent mom, she concluded.
So do I, I concurred. So do I!
There is so much loss when disability strikes.
We need to find a better way to talk about our frustrations with one another, I texted my eldest.
You always go to a defensive place, Mom, there’s no talking to you about anything… I feel like you guilted me into picking you up…..you need to figure out ways to be independent, we can’t always be there for you…
What do you suggest?
A Home…like Grandma’s in. You should be looking into it.
Bam! Just like that. We’re done you with you Mom. We have our own families now. Find your own way.
Sad thing is, I remember having had the same thoughts about my own mother, felt rage as her lack of independence, swore never to do that to my own children.
History repeats itself, it’s the role we play that shifts.
I am so heavy-hearted today that I don’t know how to move from here. I take inventory in my head of all the things we’ve done to help our kids, but it’s meaningless in the face of such disregard.
Have I raised a selfish, entitled daughter, or have I not protected her enough from life’s abuses that she is too wounded to be compassionate?
My children have been strength, my purpose, my joy. Where do we turn, as parents, when they reject us?