Monday, January 25, 2010

Counting Our Blessings

I don't talk much about Hank's side of the family...those stories are his to tell. I quite often tell you about MY mother, but the honest truth is that we have lots of ups and downs with his mother too.

I "take care of business" with mother, but as I recently mentioned, Hank doesn't always like my style. She is all set and enjoying life at Green Grove, but when she has one of her little spells, I take the approach that if you're going to act like a child then I'm going to treat you like a child, which apparently comes across sometimes as being impatient and hard hearted. Mother wasn't a very nurturing parent...she was a Betty Draper sort of mother (without the smoking, drinking and so forth), know what I mean? On the other hand, I didn't turn out half bad so I suppose she and daddy deserve credit for some of that! Our relationship is what it is. Hank is more kind and patient, both with his mother and mine. That must be why they like him better than me.

Hank's mother has survived breast cancer and quintuple bypass surgery. A couple of weeks ago, she fell at her nephew's house, crushed two vertebrae, and after three days in the hospital moved to rehab. They gave her some medications that made her loopy and we started getting phone calls like this...

Nurse: Sir...your mother is in the hall and she refuses to go into her room. Can you come talk to her?

Hank: Well, it's late. I was just there and now I'm home and I live more than an hour away. You're going to have to put her on the phone. (I pick up the extension)

She comes to the phone.

Hank: Mom, you need to go in your room and get ready for bed. You need your rest.

Hank's mom: If I go in that room, they are going to kill me.

Hank: No, they aren't going to kill you. Why would you say something like that?

Hank's mom: I KNOW what I KNOW and they're going to kill me!!!

He got the nurse back on the phone and told her there wasn't anything he could do. Two hours later when he called back to check on the situation, his mother was STILL out in the hall.

You've got to give it to her, she was sticking to her guns.

Hank's mother is back at home and the rehab people are coming to her. She's no longer afraid that people are trying to kill her. Our angel, Ann, who stayed with mother and Ned is helping out a few days a week until she truly gets back on her feet.

I'm so thankful that Hank's mother and my mother don't have spells at the same time. Like I said, they both have TIME but at least they don't have a time at the SAME time. For that, we really truly count our blessings!


  1. Oh it's so sad to see older people deteriorate both physically and mentally.

    Thank you so much for the book! I received it in the mail today. It looks brand spanking new. I can't wait to read it. Thanks again!

  2. You certainly have your hands full, my friend. And I think you are doing marvelously. I enjoy your posts. They leave me laughing or smiling or both!


  3. It is sad but funny the way you tell it. If I go in that room they are going to kill me!
    First they raise us, then we raise them!

  4. Sorry to hear that you are having problems with elderly parents/in-laws. It is quite challenging, isn't it? Praying that things will settle down for you a bit, especially with your new job. Hang in there. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. Excuse me Miss Southern Belle. Are we sisters? Because I think we had the same mother. I know exactly what you mean about "Betty Draper" type. My mother was so Betty Draperish. xoxo

  6. When my great grandmother was put in the nursing home, she would say these same sort of things. The medicine definitely makes them a little loopy.

  7. love your betty draper analogy, i think a lot of people can relate to that! i think in situations such as that we just have to do the best we can. that being said you probably have the perfect way of helping your own mother b/c she raised you know her better than anyone else! also love the 'time but not at the same time!' you and your hubby sound like good and patient children. hang in there.

  8. One day you wake up and you have become the parent and your parents are the children. UGH!

  9. That is so difficult when the elderly become delusional. They truly believe that there is a real threat. Hard to deal with as a family member too.

    It happens so very often though. I am glad she is back in her own environment. That helps so very much.

    Glad that your mother and Hank's mother take turns. One is enough for any family.


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