I'm having a moment....or perhaps a series of moments... I'll also say that, goodness knows, there are so many people out there with much worse things happening in their lives. I count my blessings everyday but this is what is causing me stress and if I can't vent about it here...well...there aren't many places I can vent about it.
I'm feeling edgy. For those of you who are familiar with my mother and my brother Ned, you know that they're quite a pair. Ned is 40 years old and has Downs Syndrome. Mother is almost 81 and suffers from an Alzheimer's-like dementia. They've rarely ever been apart (not at all save ONE night in the last ten years) so you can imagine the dependence they have on each other. About a year ago, we had to find someone to help them at home because mother refused to move to assisted living unless Ned was with her. We've tried so hard to reason with her (it isn't possible) and accommodate them but it's been hard...and tiring...a real BIG stress in our lives for several years.
About four years ago, we discovered that a non-profit faith-based group (Aldersgate Special Needs Mission) was endeavoring to build homes for developmentally disabled adults around the state. As God's grace would have it, they were planning to build one of the homes on the property of The Oaks, a Methodist Church supported Life Care Community, less than ten miles from our farm where mother grew up. We were excited and encouraged, believing that this was our answered prayer.
Aldersgate is a group of good solid very well meaning people who were not well-equipped to accomplish the task at hand...good hearted, I have to believe, but TERRIBLE communicators. All we asked was that somebody touch base with us by e-mail every few weeks...even if the message was "no progress" at least we would know that the whole thing hadn't folded up. We wanted to assist but they didn't take us up on our many many offers. Hank is the most patient man in the world and even HE got frustrated. They were going to be ready to take residents in 2006....then in the spring of 2007....then March of 2008....NOW they're saying that the doors will open in approximately 30 days.
We've been up and down and up and down. Mother doesn't want to move but says she's going to do what she has to do because Ned needs to get settled and she "doesn't want him to wake up one morning and find her dead in her bed." (ARRRGGGHHHHHHH....thank you for allowing me to scream!) We don't want him to wake up and find her dead in her bed either BUT she keeps saying this in front of him...over and over.
It is time....past time. Mother needs to be in assisted living and Ned needs a chance to live his life to the fullest extent possible...he's been sitting at home with her these past few years and doesn't have any friends his own age. He just hangs around with old people. The situation has been extremely complicated to manage....we couldn't just go in and take him away even though we've always believed that Ned needed to be out in a good group home with friends and activities and maybe a job. Mother just wouldn't let him go. We couldn't talk her into it and we tried plenty!
Hank and I went over to pick out Mother's room on Sunday afternoon. She will have a sitting room and a bedroom and can look out the door and see the front door of the house Ned will be living in. They can walk over to see each other any time they want.
I guess I'm a coward...I want to snap my fingers and have this all over and done with. Packing them up and driving them away from their house is just going to be AWFUL! (How in the WORLD are we going to move them both at one time...she refuses to go before him and won't let him go before her...AAARRRGGGGHHHH...I think I was due a second scream!)
I know...I'm being a big baby. Thanks for letting me have a moment. I'll buck up and in true Southern Belle fashion will get them organized, packed up and moved as soon as we get the good word. It will be a tough few weeks though...mother doesn't deal well with stress, and this is going to be MEGASTRESS for her. She will call us seven or eight times a day from the moment we tell her that the move is scheduled and we'll have to go round and round and round with the details over and over and over. At some point she'll say she's not going at all and will have quite a few VERY unkind things to say about me as this will ALL be my fault in her eyes. I'm prepared for it but I never enjoy it, and even though I know it's "the dementia talking" it will still hurt my feelings. I may need to get a refill on my flying pills.
Keep us all in your prayers. BIG PRAYERS!