A few weeks ago, my mother told me that because she lives now in the nursing home she has no friends. I came up with the idea of contacting her friends and sending them a card to inform them of what has been going on with her, encouraging them to send her a card. They responded it seems, and she has been receiving correspondence. However, what I considered to be a good idea seems to be quite the opposite in my mother’s mind.
Going to visit her is not a good time for me and it appears not for her either. What she has called me about nightly (her living in a hotel worried how she will pay for her stay as she has no credit card or money, to name a few) is the main topic whenever I come to visit. Bringing her favorite candy and some new clothes didn’t help either. At first she was happy to see me, but that doesn’t last long. Soon the conversation turns to the same issues, with me giving her the same answers I have spoken over the phone, and her usual response is that of her not trusting me. Within her barrage of mistrust statement she told me she has no idea what I have been telling relatives and her friends; she knows I have contacted them, which means they responded to my cards asking them to send her a card or drop a note. What I thought was a good idea she (as she has done everything else I have done on her behalf) has turned that into the negative, it is something else I have done wrong, as she nails something else to her mistrust tree.
During today’s visit, what started as good conversation, turned into an argument. I asked if she wanted me to take her to church for Easter, as I had to know so I could inform the social worker. I told her I would bring the appropriate clothing, as she had a concern of being properly dressed. But I still needed an answer from her. Knowing what buttons to push, she gave me a glaring look as she responded, “I want to go to church, but not with you.” It didn’t take long for me to get my coat and leave, walking down the hall sarcastically saying to myself “well that went well”, while at the same time feeling miffed at myself for being reactive instead of proactive.
As I got in my car, I felt the disease my mother had and the evil it possessed had won again. But the following lyric from a favorite song came to mind as I was praying to God asking for forgiveness.
“We will not be moved, when the earth gives way, for the Risen One has overcome.”
While this part of the song kept repeating itself in my mind, I realized despite what just happened, God is still there, very much involved in the whole situation, and still loved me. It also reminded me that I must keep the challenging responsibility of loving my mother regardless of what she says, how she interprets what I do, what she remembers and doesn’t remember (mainly the latter), though I have told her the same thing over and over, the key is to continue. Continue being the one who oversees her finances, the one who visits no matter how hard it is to do so, and continue bringing her favorite snacks of cookies, chocolate bars and popcorn.
I will not be moved…for the Risen One has overcome.
Therefore I will continue…