Stronger Than We Think We Are

I have the news on in the background while I’m writing, and Robin Roberts just said, “We’re all a little bit stronger than we think we are.” I know that to be true.

I didn’t write for a week, not even in my head (which anyone who writes knows is nearly impossible), but my life didn’t slow down.

Life never slows down.

It doesn’t matter if you’re sad or sick or tired, the world keeps turning, and your kids keep needing to be watched and dressed and fed and educated and entertained.

In short, they still need their mom. They still need their normal life.

Distraction by intentional mothering is my daily plan, living fully and parenting in the moment and all that. It’s taken a while (!), but I’m finally back to that and out of the muck of depression.

I think so, anyway.

I hope so.

Probably only for the moment.

Grace understands that there is big stuff going on, that Grandma is sick and will not get better. She understands that Mom is sad about that and that nothing can fix it.

I’m struggling with my mom not being there when I have a question or need a favor. Still, Grace needs her mom to be there for everything she needs.

This is so hard. I never imagined what this process would be like before it began. No one thinks ahead about losing a parent.

Allie understands only that most of our days involve visiting Grandma. I don’t think she understands that Grandma is sick and getting sicker, but she doesn’t ask to go to Grandma’s house any more.

I hadn’t thought about that until I just typed it, and it made the tears flow. Allie has stopped asking to go to Grandma’s house.

This is just. so. hard. And yet, I feel so selfish saying that because this is not about me.

Except my blog is about me, so I guess this is after all.

Generally, I’m doing a lot better these days. I accept what is now and what is to come, and I accept that I have no control over any of it.

Floating like a feather on the breeze doesn’t come naturally to me.

At all. stronger

I guess I’m glad that I’m not in control. I’m glad I don’t have to make the decisions that need to be made. I’m fortunate in that I need only to bring my kids to visit and help her to move her feet and bring food to Pappy every now and then.

I was sure we were losing my mom two weeks ago; I thought she would live a few more days at most.

She got better two weeks ago, a miracle of modern medicine. I mean, not better better, but she improved substantially.

She has good days and bad days now. She’s enduring hours of physical and occupational therapy every day trying to get strong enough to come back home. She’s stronger than last week, talking better, more awake and alert.

This past Monday, the doctor told me, over my mom, that we needed to accept that her “main problem” is getting worse and it’s making her semi-conscious most of the time. She said we would most likely not see any further improvement.

The same day, my mom improved a lot.

Because we’re all a little bit stronger than anyone thinks we are.

© 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Amanda Gerner says

    I told Mum what the doctor said because I keep nothing from her these days. She listened to the nurse in the room who said to us, she wished doctors wouldn’t tell people things like that, they aren’t God. Mum smiled, looked up at her and said (in a more clear voice than she spoke in a while) “Well, we have heard that from doctors before and we know better.”
    I was told yesterday by a total stranger who stopped to help me get her in the car after her doctor’s appointment, she could tell Mum was fighting a hard battle. It was at the cancer center so I knew her husband was fighting his own battle even though they stopped to help the nurse, Mum, and I. I told her she has always been a fighter and she has goals so she is working towards them. After Mum was safely in the car, this kind stranger looked at me and said, “Honey, I can tell you are a fighter too, you get that from her you know.” I thanked her and said yes, I am very proud of that. It renews my faith everyday to know there are still good people in the world that care for strangers. Our mother continues to amaze the medical profession with her miracle come backs, but we pray for miracles every day. No matter how small, they still exist and we are very blessed to have our mother a little longer.

  2. Southern Angel says

    I understand totally what you are going through. Except I was the one caring for her, despite having sisters close enough to pitch in no one ever did. It is disheartening, it is painful. Her last year each hospital visit let me know she was so much closer, so closer to saying enough. When diagnosed with dementia after a really bad spell with her heart and kidneys she heard the doctor, and my mom who put on this face for the outside world suddenly displayed the face I often saw in her moments of frustration and rage that come more frequently. I am glad your mom is getting better. I hope she decides to prove them all wrong.. because I miss my mom, in spite of all the bad times that came in the last few years with her.. I miss her everyday..

  3. says

    Weeping with you. Humbled to call you friend. Honored to walk with you from a far as you navigate these days. I know your mom is proud of you for the mother and daughter you are. Anyone who meets you or sees this blog will always see her peeking in through the pages of your life. (( <3 ))

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