July 26, 2004

Out of Pocket

Well, friends, it seems I'm going to be out of pocket for the rest of the week. I'm writing this from my Mom's kitchen table in Florida. Seems she broke her ankle in two places when she slipped on some ice last week and yours truly is here acting as "the good son".

Now, before you write to tell me how good I am, you must understand that I would rather be anywhere but here. You see, my Mom has either chronic depression, agoraphobia, or a bit of both. She can go two weeks without leaving her apartment. I'm not sure what it is going to take to motivate her, but I am trying.

I came down Saturday with every intention of moving her back to Mississippi to live near me. After spending a day or two here, I realized that that would do nothing but deepen the depression because it would put her in an unfamiliar situation in an unfamiliar town. We have talked about this for the past several days and have agreed that she has one year to get her shit together and if she can do that, she can stay here. The retirement village that she lives in has so many things for her to do, plus it includes a theater, synagogue, pool, health club, and tons of other people to interact with. Mississippi has me.

I will do what I can to help her, but the ultimate responsibility lies with her. I'm trying to arrange someone to be with her part time for the next several weeks to get a jump start getting her healthy, but I don't know if that will be enough. I don't know what else to do.

This is honestly the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And I'm doing it alone. My brother could not come down from Colorado for various reasons, the least of which is his being out of work with two kids. I know he is under a lot of pressure, but this is killing me. My stomach has been in a knot since last Thursday and will probably continue to be that way until I go home Saturday. Mom and I made the deal ourselves and I will tell him if/when he calls. Part of me is furious at being left alone and the other part is glad he isn't here since they tend to clash.

I never wanted to be a parent. I know my limitations and for those reasons alone I didn't want a kid. I think I have one now, though. And I'm scared, folks.

If there is an upside to this story, it's that I think I finally realized that I made a mistake in getting divorced. I spent last Thursday and Friday with my spouse and am missing her very much right now. She is the calm in this storm and it's taken something like this to realize my mistake. We've talked about it a bit, but have not gone into detail. The only thing I do know is that she has not said "no". For that, I am extremely thankful.

The other upside is that I'm also rediscovering God. No, I'm not thumping a bible or anything like that, but I have been doing a lot of praying. I need something to believe in right now. I've literally felt lost these last few months (even before the situation with Mom). I had started a bible study with a friend just a few days before her accident. I've prayed for strength to get through this and to do the right thing. I just hope He's listening.

I'll be home on Saturday and will try and update you then.


I am sedning lots of good thoughts, patience and prayers your way. Your Mom is lucky to have you, I only hope she realizes it.

Virtual Hugz...

Posted at July 27, 2004 06:53 AM

Really sorry to hear about this turn of events for you. You'll get through it - even the most dire of family circumstances can be overcome. Help her fight, continue on your own path of self-discovery (as you've already found yourself doing), and don't forget to eat. Hang in there.

Posted at July 27, 2004 07:02 AM

Ever heard of the sandwich generation? We're sandwiched between our parents and our kids, taking care of both.

Personally, IMHO, if your mom really is depressed, which it sounds like, she needs to get started on some anti-depression meds, and some religious services, if she's religious. You cannot be her sole emotional support. That's entirely too draining, and you're not a qualified mental health professional.

If she has health insurance, she should be eligible for rehab, and/or a nursing assistant to help her while her ankle is broken.

If she lives in a retirement communitiy, they often have door-to-door grocery services, etc., which could be very helpful to you and her.

Just my two cents.

Posted at July 27, 2004 07:50 AM

He's listening.

Posted at July 27, 2004 09:55 AM

Stay in there Harold!

Remember, somebody is praying you through!


Posted at July 27, 2004 10:14 PM