I’m here for true confessions. I want to faithfully be the good daughter to my mom, but she’s driving me crazy! You may remember that I posted that she was dying. I still believe that to be true because she has congestive heart failure, among other diagnoses. But since that post she has literally been resurrected! I didn’t think she would be able to feed herself, go to the bathroom, stand, go to the dining room or many other things. I am thrilled to say that she is doing all those things. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the negativity. I know I can’t possibly comprehend what it is like to be my mother, to lose my husband and be all alone in an assisted living facility. But she’s always been a negative person and she will die a negative person. I have fought that influence on me all my life. I had someone who works with the elderly tell me that however you are in life, that’s how you will be as you live out your last days.
My mom was an only child and I can’t help feel that plays into it. She took care of my dad for years physically and often financially as he faced many health issues. But he did as much as he was capable of and always worried about my mom. My mom tends to be self-centered and always thinks the worst. I hate that attitude and my family knows I fight that. We’ve been through many trials and I want to choose to find the good in everything, difficult as it may be. I don’t know why it’s so hard when I’m around her. When she was mostly recently very sick I was spending four hours a day feeding her and helping her. It felt like days instead of hours. Now that she’s feeling better nothing is right or good enough. That’s the message I most remember from my childhood, that nothing I did was good enough. I am realizing how the messages we give our children impact them for life. That terrifies me. Do I give enough encouragement or just pick out the flaws?
As I try to set a godly but human example of honoring my parents I know I need to overcome the irritations and focus on her heart, just like I do my for my children. I need for my family to see me persevere in caring for my mom not only physically but spiritually. I usually pray with her when I leave but I have been negligent in doing it because, frankly, I just don’t want to. In so many ways it feels like I’m parenting another child. I was talking to a friend whose father is in a nursing home and she shares the struggle of never being able to do enough, to never knowing who needs her the most at which moment. I believe this emotional stress is more exhausting than physical exertion. After all, I’ve been living this adoption journey for 10 years and it has been an emotional roller coaster. Add in my sister’s death, B’s abuse, M and S’s journey to attachment and my parent’s illnesses, it has felt like I am constantly pouring out from an often empty well.
What’s the point? I have no idea! I guess I’m just preaching to myself and looking for a new perspective. Anyone else feel exhausted by the demands of others? My mind knows that it’s only through God’s grace and strength that I will persevere. I just need to connect with my heart and lay it at Jesus’ feet.