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Today was another day spent with my mom. It started with me rushing out the door, without any makeup, barely dressed, to take her to yet another doctor’s appointment. For some reason I cannot get it together anymore. I had to call and say we would probably be 10 minutes late. Several times today I felt like I was losing it. After letting her out at the podiatrist, I called my husband. I had to just hear his voice to know that I would be okay. He did answer, and just hearing his voice stabilized me a little. Then I fixed my face, and went in to help her get back into her socks and shoes after having her toenails cut. She has had diabetes for many years, and her toenails are very tough, and need to be cut by a professional, as she really can’t get to them well anymore either.

So then I came back by my house to pick up a present for her next door neighbor-a beautiful Christmas basket I made for Ruth, who is 85 years old, and also lost her husband recently. I picked up a couple of checks to cash and headed out.

I had left my mom in the car to try and figure out what denominations of money she would need for us to withdraw from the bank to give to relatives for Christmas. I gave her the car manual to bear down on, to write. When I returned to the car, she was reading the manual, and had clearly never thought of working on the money situation. So I patiently sat and tried to figure what she needed. I had to show her umpteen (a girl word) million ways that her figure of $280.00 to withdraw was $100.00 short of what she actually need. She finally was convinced.

Then my mom said she needed her checkbook. My husband’s bookkeeper had it at the office, balancing it for her. So I ran by the office and picked it up. At that point, we both realized that it was 7 minutes until the bank closed. (We never once considered this before.) We went rushing to a nearby branch of her Credit Union, with my heart beating wildly, wondering if we would make it. We did, with only 4 minutes to spare. Then when she went to write her withdrawal check, she couldn’t write December. She kept saying, “I can’t make the ‘D’.” The bank teller was waiting, so I said I would write it, but she turned to another check, and finally wrote it. (So what the heck was that about?) There is clearly something going on with her mind. I practically threw the check at the bank teller, praying she would still wait on us after this long. Meanwhile, the girl at the next window, was closing her shade abruptly. We got the money and drove off.

Except I couldn’t breathe, and I had chest pains. Too much stress every minute-every thing we do. Two or three times today I felt them.

For the rest of the day, she absolutely drove me crazy. We went to eat at a restaurant that was well known in our town for being good, though neither of us had ever been to it. When she got out of the car, she could barely keep her balance. There is no way to explain to you what it is like to try to hold her up, and guide her, but she will not use her walker. She simply refuses. We finally got seated, and then she needed (understandably) to go to the restroom. (Another major procedure just to get there.) I finally got her seated again, and I commented on how beautifully the place was decorated for Christmas, with a fireplace and a fire, and a white mantel with crystal bowls with deep red ornaments in them. Lovely red tablecloths, and even a man softly playing piano. Finally, I could breathe. But she wasn’t happy. Not with her coffee, not with her food…She never tries to hide her displeasure, or smooth over it. She is simply blunt. It’s okay that she didn’t like the food, but surely she could have been a little pleasant about something. I said, “I’m sorry.” She said (sort of) that it wasn’t my fault, and admitted that she was grumpy. Well DUH…I knew that, but when isn’t she? (Answer: Very rarely.) By the time the meal was over, I was almost in tears. Nothing is ever right. I got her back to the car, and we headed for Kmart for a few things still needed for Christmas. That part went okay. When she can push a buggy, she is much more stable.  Then I took her through a subdivision near where she lived, that always has a lot of houses decorated for Christmas. She seemed to like that okay too. Then I took her home. We worked on putting her appointments for next year (that we already have through May) on our calendar pages that we keep. (Our entire life is written there.) I made her hot chocolate with whipped cream. And then I drove home.

I told God that what she needs is a good “Whooping” LOL!  Just Kidding!  But she is like a spoiled brat at times, (a lot of times) and she makes life so difficult for me. I try so hard to please her, but mostly it just can’t be done.

So then my poor husband has to hear how I had chest pains all day, and how grumpy and unpleasant she was to me. We have no life between my grumpy mom and my grumpy daughter. And quite frankly, the whole thing is making me…well…grumpy! Can you tell?

So this is my life, which is unbearably hard, because she insists on being the way she is. Life could be so much better if she would just try to be a little pleasant. If she would just realize that I am giving up everything to take care of her, and I’m glad to do it-if she would only treat me better.  Lately, I’ve been coming home crying after these days. It’s just too exhausting, too painful, but I am helpless to change any of it.

Maybe she treats me mean because I remind her of my dad (who I was named for.) Even though their marriage wasn’t pleasant, and they were divorced when I was 2, she never misses a chance to talk badly about him. I know he did not treat her right, but she never lets me forget it. He changed a great deal over the years,(even became a Christian), but in her mind there is no possibility that he could have changed, and she never lets me forget it. I think that is cruel, because he is my dad, and he died recently, and it hurts me.

She does hugs me when I leave, and I know she loves me (in her own way), but she has never really given me the nurturing I need. I need a mother even now. But it’s not possible.

So, just another day in my life…She called today “A Hard Days Night”, and though I never fully understood what that meant in the past, I surely do now…

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