Living assisted

AssistedLiving Sometimes I hate going there.
Is that bad to say?

But I’m very thankful to be able to go there.

I don’t want to imagine how life might be otherwise.

Assisted living. It sounds almost pleasant, like an extra hand to get supper on the table.

And for some, it is that way.

Yet for others, not so much. For my mom, definitely not so much. She is like a child and needs help in every way.

When did this happen? When did my once giving-assistance mother become a dependent? I look at her skin—fewer wrinkles than my own. Her complexion is still beautifully clear. Her hair has so little gray that it would be ridiculous to color it. Most people can’t believe she’s even 71.

I think I could better understand this “child parenting the parent” role if she looked the part of a little old gray-haired lady instead of a beautiful woman with striking cheekbones.

But looks are deceiving. And fleeting. I know that. As of yesterday, her looks changed. She’s now sporting a bandage over her nose. She fell getting out of bed early Tuesday morning and broke her nose.

Because day and night are deceiving to her. Irrelevant to her. The sun and moon no longer assist her in figuring out minutes and dates.

So I sit with her again in the hospital ER and try to tell her, “Mama, please rest; close your eyes” and the lights shine so brightly in her eyes that she can’t sleep even if she could buy my line that now is the time for sleep.   

In her eyes, she wants to get up and do. Independently. She doesn’t understand how assisted her living has been the past few years. And how much more so it has become the past few months.

And I don’t always understand where to draw the line as a child to assist my parent.

I sometimes tell my children, “Because I said so,” but I would never tell my mama that. When my mama asks me a question, I still answer with a “Yes Ma’am” or “No Ma’am” because that’s how she raised me.

So now how am I supposed to tell her to wash her hands or please try to go to the bathroom or encourage her to eat at least a few bites of her peas?

I don’t know. But I’m doing it anyway. 

It’s assisted living. Giving help as needed. And like it or not, I’m parenting my mother. Isn’t that what a good daughter should do?

Father God, ultimate parent of all parents,
     I don’t always understand how assisted my living has been either.
     I’m totally dependent on you.
     I must have your help. 
     I can only live assisted…
Love,
     Your daughter,
     Lisa

* * * 
Do you live assisted, too?

More Walks with Him

11 comments:

Rie said...

Lisa, I missed your posts the last two days and yesterday became concerned something might be wrong, immediately thinking of your mom. So, I looked at your twitter and saw that you were at the ER. I don't twitter but the update on your sidebar helped me know to pray for you, your sisters, and your mama.

I totally understand about drawing the line, my mom had a stroke five years ago that has left her with memory problems. Nothing as serious as your mom, but enough to warrent pain and frustrations on all our parts.

Her beauty on the inside will remain with you always, and may God comfort you all.

Lisa notes... said...

Rie,
Thanks so much. I had a really down day on Monday, then the ER yesterday. I really appreciate that you prayed for us. Those with memory issues are affected in so many ways, huh? I'm sorry about your mom. I can imagine how difficult it is for her and your whole family.

Yes, relying on God to comfort all of us. Sometimes my heart doesn't "feel" it, but my mind "knows" that his provision is always enough.

Blessings,
Lisa

Brenda said...

Pure religion.... :-)

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Lisa,

I so wish I knew just what to say. But I don't. So I will just say that your love and faith shine through your struggles, your questions, your ponderings. Your perseverance and desire to obedient is clearly evident.

Praying for you and your mama today,

Joanne

Stephani said...

You are His hands and feet in a real practical way for your mother. I hope I demostrate the grace you do as I care for my own parents.

Lynn Severance said...

Lisa,

As you share this journey with all of us - this journey you are on with your Mom, thank you.

It is painful. Any loss is painful. We simply never think that our parents will someday need us in such ways nor how much it hurts to lose them.

One thing we discover that as hard as the pain is, there is no way we would not be there for them to do all we can - even when it seems we do not know what we are doing or how it may be helping.

Your ending thoughts are so true. God has known from the beginning the assistance we would need each of our days. He is with you now and He is with your Mom.

Continuing prayers and love,
Lynn

Melissa | Madabella: made beautiful said...

This is a trying time...so hard to see your own precious mom in this state. My my mom and I were sharing tears yesterday because my grandma has Alzheimers. It's never easy, but I am thankful you have many around you to love you through it. God carries you, dear friend.

Beth said...

Lisa... I haven't been around much this summer...so just took a couple minutes to read up on you and your family..thank you for your inspiring posts...I know sooner than later I will be assisting my mom...not yet but soon and I have learned so much from you...take care friend!

Daily Grace said...

Lisa,

Reading this post brought so much to mind from my younger years. Both my mother and grandmother spent much time caring for my great-great grandmother who died at 100yrs. old.

Both of these women either brought me with them to visit her or great-great grandma would come visit us at our house. I remember watching these two women that I loved so dearly give so much of themselves to care for g-g grandma in her later years, they would help her bathe,wash and curl her hair, trim and paint her nails and we would have wonderful lunches together, remembering times that had gone by. These woman taught me a lot about love and gave me a strong respect for the elderly,which I have tried to pass on to my own children.

Who knows, maybe the Lord was preparing me for the future when I would be the caretaker.

I feel the love you have for your ma'ma in this post; my daughters also call me ma'ma so your term of endearment really hits home.

Beautiful post and BEAUTIFUL prayer.

God bless you

Lisa notes... said...

Sometimes I think I cry more over reading the sweet comments than I do over writing the post. I SO appreciate the real-life stories that you all share with me and the encouragement and the prayers. I feel the arms of the Christian family wrapped around me... Hugs back to you all.

Kath said...

Thanks Lisa, for sharing these reflections. Helping the one who once helped you, a great gift of love. May God bless and encourage you in it.
Kath

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