Written on 4/4/15, three days after Mother’s death.
I found out about my mother’s death from my husband instead of finding out from random police officers. One of our lifelong friends was able to give Scott the news. Scott was then able to tell me. Now think about that – our friend “just happened” to be on duty the very day and time the notification came in from the other city’s police department. He “just happened” to receive the information. We “just happened” to recently move from one city we had lived in for the last 20 something years into the city limits where our friend was a policeman which allowed us to receive the information from him. Those things didn’t “just happen.”
Yesterday – I received this text from another beautiful lifelong friend…“Wherever you are and whatever you are doing right this second please know that right now I am praying for you.” We had just pulled up to mother’s apartment. She didn’t “just happen” to send that text at that perfect timing.
Both of these people are some of my (our) best friends. We have been friends with them for more than 30 years. They both know intimate details of my relationship with mother. Both have met her and both have helped me deal with her in very heartbreaking circumstances over the years. God’s perfect timing.
The last time I saw mother was just 5 days before her death. Which is a God Wink in itself. Although I would speak to her multiple times a week, I would go months without seeing her. It was too hard for me emotionally to watch the destruction.
Over the last two years the calls from the ER, ICU, Case Managers, police, neighbors, life line, etc. had all increased dramatically. It was an emotional roller coaster. I knew I was just as powerless as she was. And she truly was completely utterly powerless. Believe me I had tried everything I could possibly think of to save her.
About a year and a half ago on a Friday night Mason and I drove down and picked her up in a very drastic attempt to help. There had been another heartbreaking crazy situation. We brought her to our house in an effort to keep her safe and help improve her living conditions. That lasted exactly 4 days. I had never bought her alcohol in my life. But this time, I knew if I didn’t buy her alcohol and we didn’t ration it out in small doses – she’d most definitely go into life-threatening withdrawals. So I did. I totally went against my own rule and drove to the liquor store to buy her the very thing that I knew would eventually kill her. All in an effort to save her life. That is some heavy stuff….And it didn’t work.
That Monday evening after a baseball game, she had already walked around our neighborhood – going door to door until she found someone to take her to the liquor store. By the time I got home she was completely out of her mind. This was complete craziness! That was when I was hit in the back of the head with a frying pan – I realized there wasn’t anything I could do to save her except pray for her. If I continued, I’d only end up losing myself. I had 2 boys and a husband who needed me and I needed to be there for them. So from that day forward my goal was to do my best to let her know she was loved and try to somehow add sweetness to her very sad life while also protecting myself from the crazy.
Doing love and setting healthy boundaries can be so difficult. I wanted my boys to be able to get a different glimpse of my mother. I didn’t want them to see her as bad person or think less of her. I wanted them to see the sweetness that got lost in the ugliness. I wanted them to know we have a predisposition to becoming this very thing. I wanted them to know she loved them the very best she could. I wanted them to know she was more than her mistakes. Just as we all are.
Anyway – 5 days before her death, we “just happened” to be going to a funeral in the town she lived in. So, I called mother several days before to let her know we were coming. I always gave her several days warning so she had enough time to get herself together before we came. That notification requirement was the result of a very hard lesson which involved my boys. So since that lesson – I always gave the notification. While we were at Walmart picking up the items she needed, we “just happened” to get her an Easter basket and fill it with some goodies and some tulips. I had never bought her an Easter basket before and thought it might be something she would enjoy. As we left that day, mother asked me to call her rental company to let them know her shower wasn’t working. After the funeral, I called her back and asked for the number of the rental company so I could call for her. That was the last time I spoke to my mother.
After she died I found out her case manager went to see her soon after we had left that Friday. Mother was proudly showing him the Easter basket and telling him that we had just been there. I am so thankful we went that day.
I am so thankful for God’s perfect timing. I am so thankful for everything I have been protected and saved from. I am thankful for all the thoughts, prayers, family and friends I have been blessed with. I am thankful for all those who took care of mother when I couldn’t. I am thankful for all of those who took care of me when she couldn’t. I am thankful for God’s grace, love and forgiveness.
For all of you who are personally dealing with this terrible disease – I pray for you and your family. Do the best you can do with the best you have. Always look for the good. It’s there I promise. What you look for is what you’ll find.
Find the sweet side of crazy.