recipe
Sep
22
2007

No Regrets

You know and I know many people who we think probably have regrets in their lives.  They come to the end of their time here on Earth and they wonder why they weren’t more forgiving.  Or more helpful.  Or less mean spirited.  And at times I have been all those things and more. Then there are those whom you wonder about in another way.  Do they have any regrets? Have they lived a life they are proud of?  Have they made someone else’s journey less work, less trouble, easier? This is one of my favorite quotes of all times and pretty much how I try to live my life  – especially within my marriage:

What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? ~ George Eliot

I say often, and try to believe all the time, that it is not the things that happen to us in life that are important, it is how we handle the things that happen to us.  This thing that is happening in my life right now is very difficult for me to understand on some levels.  But I am trying to handle it with all my might and in a way that I can look back upon with no regrets. My mom is dying.  That is the plain and simple truth of this matter.  She is sleeping almost all the time.  She arouses just long enough to take her medicines, drink a little something, eat very little of something and tell me how sorry she is she is keeping me from rest and as she puts it “running my legs off”.  Don’t get me wrong, I have wanted to just go lie down and sleep and felt just a bit of agitation when she called my name again but I would never ever let her know it.  I was as tired night before last and yesterday as I have ever been in my entire life.  Exhausted.  And from what?  The stress of the situation and lack of sleep I suppose.  Mom is becoming confused and talking about my dad in the present tense.  And my dad has been dead for three years in November.  When I say to her “Mom, Dad is gone.  You remember.  He passed nearly 3 years ago.”  and she says “Why do I say things like that? I know he is gone.”  She told me last night that is who she talks to in her sleep.  I can hardly write this.  It is so sad.  I know she is ready to die.  She has told me so many times.  And for now she is in very little pain.  Which makes me wonder if her time is nearer than we know.  While she was in the hospital she was in so very much pain.  Now just in the past 24-36 hours she has not asked for her morphine but a couple of times.  She took in almost 40 ounces of water yesterday and last night there was maybe a cup of very dark, very cloudy urine in her catheter bag.  I am not a doctor but I know this means her kidneys are not functioning well.  

My mom and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on things. We have had our words and fights.  Our arguments and disagreements.  But I am so very glad I am here and able to be with her these last few days/weeks of her life.

I have hired a sitter for Monday morning.  I have to take Husband to the airport and I have this fear that she will pass while I am gone.  If in fact she is still with us Monday morning.  I want to be with her when she passes.  I don’t want her to be in her room alone or with someone who doesnt love her.

My oldest son is with her now.  He came in last night and is spending the night at her house so I could come home and take a shower and sleep in my own bed.  But I havent slept.  To be as tired as I am, I was awake all during the night on and off and finally decided to get up at 4:30.  I almost feel guilty for leaving her for these few hours.  But I felt I had to at least try to get some rest.  When my dad was in the last days of his life, she was with him constantly.  We were there much of the time and were in the hospital room when he took his last breath.  Some family members say they regret being there but it never occurred to me that I would have been anywhere else.  Now as much as I feel I need to rest some and have some time with my husband and kids, I am torn about which is more important at the moment. She really doesn’t want anyone else to take care of her.

I have laundry going and thought I would let those of you who come here in on what is happening.   I do appreciate your kindnesses and well wishes.  I will be in touch again soon.

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Just know I am thinking of you and your family Susan.
Hugs
Kim

You are so strong to do this for your mother and lucky, because so many can’t (or won’t *shudder*) do this for their parents.

I think if you let her know you are needing to go to the airport, she’ll wait for you to come back. Especially if she knows you want to be with her when the time comes.
Much love

Michelle

Susan,
I wanted you to know how much I love you and Mrs Nonnie. I share your tears and your pain. Yesterday she seemed very peaceful and you were taking such good care of her. I know how hard this is on you, but when you look back on this time in life you will be so glad you were there to care for her. Its funny how roles become reversed and when we have to care for our Moms in their time of need they want it to be us to take care of them. I know when my Mom had her cancer it did my heart good to take care of her, so I would have no regrets and it just made her feel better. You and your Mom are much like mom and I, we have spoken of it often. Please know, if there is anything on this earth I can do for you I will do it. And I know you…… but you better ask me……thats what friends are for!!! With much love and hugs!!!! Try and get some rest!!!!

i just wanted to remind you that i am carrying you close in my thoughts and prayers.

Susan,

What a strong person you are to write all of your feelings out and then to analyze them to push yourself to be better. Your mother obviously raised you well and you are a living tribute to her dedication to raising a well-balanced, contributing member of society.

I agree 100% with Kim in that your mother will wait for you to be with her. I have experienced this first hand twice in my life and I know the power of the will of the dying. She will grant you that wish if you ask her, although I am betting she needs it as much as you.

It is a beautiful thing to witness a person’s birth into this world, and just as much an honor to be with someone as they pass through this human experience back into their ’spiriual being.’ It is such a pull on the emotions to grieve the loss of their presence yet feel complete relief for the release of their pain.

Know you are loved and supported by the many whom you are choosing to share this personal journey.

I will be praying for you. You are in a hard spot, but you will be so happy you’ve done what you are doing. Do try to get some rest when you have a chance.

carol

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I went through some of this with my dad.
Keep us posted and remember you have alot of people praying for you.

There is not much I can say. Words just seem to escape me. I greatly admire you for being there for your mom and I envy you that you are able to be there as well. I live so far away from my mom. I miss her every day. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I know it must be one of the hardest and most difficult things you have ever done. God bless you all.

I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers as well.

I know how hard your post was to write and how much you are hurting already. I agree with Kim that your mother will wait for you while you take your husband to the airport.

But, I also understand your not wanting to be away from your mother just in case. To ease your stress, would it be possible to make other arrangements to get your husband to the airport?

I know you don’t want to neglect your husband and children, but in your shoes I would want to be with my mother. I know when my father died he wanted his loved ones with him.

He knew we were there and there is no doubt in my mind he was holding onto us for as long as he could.

Susan, I know personally the path you are walking. The day my mom died was so hard because she kept asking me to “get the nurses, I’m dying.” They just kept saying, “There’s nothing we can do.” I don’t regret for one minute being there when she left this earth. What I do regret was that I made excuses about all the wires the time she asked me to lie down in the bed with her.

I also think she will wait for you if you ask her. The day my mom died my husband couldn’t get there until he got off work. My husband is the person who led my mom to the Lord and looking back after the fact, I felt that she was waiting for him to get there. Just before he arrived, my grandmother had called us all into the room because her breathing had changed. We were all gathered around the bed. We were reassuring her that it was okay to go. AS SOON AS my dh entered the room, she took a breath, I looked up at him, looked back at her and she was gone. Even though she wasn’t conscious, she knew when he came in and waited until that moment to cross over.
You are in my prayers.

Bless you, dear. I understand your pain.

For what it’s worth, I think you are doing the right thing. God be with you and your family, especially your mother.

Anne

Dear Susan: Your Mother is in my prayers..and also you..

Carol Sue

Susan,
Thank you for sharing your journey and your pain.
So many of us are here praying for you, and we praise you for the stand you have taken to be with your mom. Going home and taking a breather is a must so that you can do what you need to. Mom knows and she knows what is instilled in you, the kindness, the character of who you are, the love that you have for her and for others around you. She knows what a blessing you will be in others lives and has seen the accomplisments you make in just living every day life.
Grace to you and your family as you finish the last of her journey here on earth before she passes to her eternal home.
Carol Sue

Leslie

When my grandma spent her last weeks with us, it was terribly stressful. I was working 30 hours a week, taking nursing classes at the nearby college, & getting up all hours of the night. My mom had a bad back & Grandma insisted in using the potty chair. Due to privacy, I was the only female strong enough to get her out of bed. Not once did I regret it. My feet hit the floor every time she’d ring her bell, which was often as she was on lasixk (sp?). She would always apologise for bothering me. I told her it was no bother, but an honor. That was 12 years ago, & I’m soooo thankful to have served her in that way. Dying can be a treasured experiance, just like birth.
Blessings & prayers,
Leslie

I’m so sorry about your mother. How sweet will be those hours you spend with her. Bittersweet like the season. Take care of each other.

Connie C.

I pray that God will give you the physical and emotional strength you need, each minute of the day and night. I know from personal experience that in the months to come, you will be so glad for every minute you are spending with your Mom. She knows how very much you love her. God bless you.

Anne

Susan: I miss hearing from you but I understand that you are going through the hardest time of your life. I’m still praying for you and yours.. Anne

I know your tried…very tried. I was in your very shoes with my Daddy ~will be two years this Nov…Daddy died of cancer. My family was with him when he took his last breath…he left our loving arms, we were kissing and hugging him~ he left our loving arms right to the loving arms of his Lord…our Lord! He deserved to be surrounded by his family…he was and still is our hero! The Lord will help you in ways you never thought possible…he is giving you the strength to care for your Mother in her last days…and will give you the emotional strength to live without her…somedays are very hard when I can’t stop thinking about Daddy..that is when the Lord takes over…he does it..he makes it easier..I will pray for you.

Deanna

Dearest Susan,
I wish that I could give you my shoulder to lean on. I went through the same thing with my mother in-law. It is a tiring job and sometimes I would feel irritated that my husband and I were the only one’s concerned with her well being. I am thankful for the time I spent with her. She was the best mother in-law ever. The thing that kept me going was the thought of my own mother. You see, my mother never ever showed irritation or made us feel that we were disturbing her when we got sick at night or called out to her when we weren’t feeling great. No matter what the hour, she was there. I know now of course, that she sometimes felt so tired from a hard day’s work and the thought of getting up at four in the morning to clean up sheets when we had an upset stomach, was not the bright spot of her day. I made a promise to myself during my mother in-law’s illness; that I would be there for her. She would have done the same for me. My own mother has always been there for her kids (big adult kids) and I learned to take care of others from her. You shouldn’t feel any guilt in trying to get some rest. It’s hard and you are doing the best you can. I admire your dedication to her. I kind of felt that my mother in-law Willa was my baby and I would take care of her until her last breath. The only thing I regret is being so far away from our hometown of Lubbock. Now we are six hours away from my parents and my brother and his family. Sometimes I want to visit her grave and have a chat with her. She was a bingo lovin’ woman.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are not that far away from each other so I will keep Louisiana in my thoughts.

Thoughtfully yours,
Deanna

Vicki

Iknow there is nothing I can say that will ease your grief or lighten your burden. Just know that you and your Mom are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and keep you.

Amy

wow I can so empathise with you here. Is it possible you’re grieving for what your mom use to be and what she’s going through now? *hugs*