Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Unfortunate Race to the End

Racing usually involves two or more people or machines going against each other in a match of speed, each trying to be the first to cross the finish line. Be it track and field, NASCAR or drag racing, the competition and drama are all part of the fun of the race. Some races, however, aren't fun. Such is one "race" in my life.

2016 is proving to be a difficult year so far as the health of both my mother and mother-in-law continues to get worse. My mother turned 90 last October -- something which is kind of amazing in itself. Despite numerous health issues, she has already outlived my father by over 11 years. My family would never have believed that she would live this long. However, she has a diagnosis of "failure to thrive" and continues to slip away little by little. In visiting with her this past weekend, I was surprised to see that on last Sunday, which I imagine was not one of her "good days," she did not even remember that I stayed with her for four nights after Christmas so that thundering36 could get a respite from his care giver responsibilities. However, at least at most of the recent times that I have visited, she has been relatively okay as far as remembering her children's names and making sense with much of what she said.

My mother-in-law has, unfortunately, had a rapid downswing. Due to back and other problems, she is no longer able to walk. My wife spent this past weekend in northern Wisconsin helping to clean and sort out her mother's belongings since my mother-in-law is now in a nursing home for the duration of her life. Her dementia has caused her to have all sorts of strange delusions. Fortunately, she still recognizes her family, so at least there is that. However, my wife has had to deal with the difficult part of knowing that the mother she grew up knowing is fading further and further away.

The mother and child relationship is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. As I think back over my life, I am fortunate to have known that no matter what happened to me in life, good or bad, there was always -- no matter what -- at least one person there who was on my side. I am sure that my wife has felt the same about her mother. And strangely enough, in probably the darkest hour in my life, the person who was there for me was my mother-in-law.

So, life goes on, day by day. And even as the race heads closer and closer to its conclusion, I think of how lucky I have been to have had the competitors in my life.


Blogger The Neophyte said...

We went through this with my mother in law up till last year and I feel for you Lightning. It just seems so unfair that the end of their years are lost to them when they've worked so hard to get there and get us here. I hope there are more good days than bad but the reality often sucks.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

Touching post. Going through same.

9:54 PM  
Blogger FlushhDraw said...

You are extrodinarily lucky even through these difficult times in which my heart goes out to you. I always wiahed all my life to have such a mother, apparently what you have is not just a mother, but a mom in the truest sense of the word. In my own case if people ask me about my mother I tell them straight out "The best thing I can say about that bitch is she's dead." So many many years of horrid physical, verbal, and emotional abuse by her destroyed any relationship years before she died, but your mom is the kind of gem I only dreamed about. Hold that close, keep it, absorb it, and never forget the extridinary lady she has been all these years. I know things are difficult during this time, but you are truely more lucky than you will ever realize. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Hang in there. Not sure what else to say -- words don't seem to work.

9:20 AM  
Blogger cokeboy99 said...

We just buried my grandfather today. He had a similar diagnosis of "failure to thrive" after an ER visit last week. He stopped taking his meds, and refused food, water, and all fluids. He decided it was his time to go, and he was tired and worn out.

He lived through a lot in his lifetime, and as a farmer, he worked long, hard hours. He lived a long, full life, and he missed my grandmother very much since she passed away nearly 5 years ago. While I am sad and will miss him, I understand why he felt the way he did and that this was the best thing in his eyes.

All that being said, I feel for you in your difficult times. I hope things go as well as possible, and there is little, if any, pain and suffering for your mother and mother-in-law. You are in my thoughts and prayers, friend.

3:47 PM  
Blogger AgSweep said...

Sending you good thoughts and prayers. I hope you find comfort from knowing that you were well loved. It is a wonderful gift to receive and be able to pass on.

12:25 AM  

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