What happened to Mom? Where’d she go?

I may be leaving behind someday soon this standard concrete suburb close to a beach and a big city and trading it in for the smallest of the four cities in Michigan that employs a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator!

Of course, what happened to Mom and why I would think about moving to Michigan are each long stories of their very own.  Suffice to say I returned to the uneventful scene of my youth just in time to become deeply mired in the extremely eventful demise of my mother!

I’ll try to spare you all the excruciatingly painful and emotionally confusing details of what went down with Mom and how she went down, nearly to the bottom, pretty darn quickly at the almost end.  And, believe it or not, Covid had almost nothing to do with it!  And, even more incredibly, she’s still there now, six months later!

Mom had a stroke and a fall (not sure which came first) in early June. This was followed by a week-long hospital stay until they kicked her over to a Transitional Care Unit (TCU) for rehab where she was supposed to receive daily therapy. After a week there, during which no progress was anywhere near possible, I had to made the difficult decision, following the hospitalist’s earlier recommendation, to consign my mother to hospice care.  The easiest and safest way to accomplish this, given the unknowns about if or when she would or even could come home, was to move her to a facility where she could be properly cared for.  She’s been there ever since, probably continuing to go slowly downhill though no one, including her caregivers at a nearby board and are home and hospice team, can really tell for sure. Her periods of wakefulness now are less sporadic than they were at the beginning but it seems that whoever visits can count on her to consistently not seem to know where she is and most of the time to talk about people who are long dead.

Additional details and more of the story of Mom and me will most likely be the subject of later posts.  I see a lot of Facebook posts that advise us to appreciate our mothers while they’re still here.  It seems, however, they don’t consider a situation like mine – my mother is sort of still here and at the same time sort of gone.  So, besides trying (but not too hard now) to figure out why my marriage ended I could also try to figure what I want my relationship with Mom (and maybe later my ex) to look now.

17 replies on “What happened to Mom? Where’d she go?”

I’ve been in a similar situation. The now ex left and then my Mom was unable to care for herself. She moved in with me for a month and then we transferred her to a home. It was a terrible time because we found out she had Alzheimer’s. So I get it. You’re juggling a lot at this time. I’m thinking of you.

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I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Sometimes I think that grieving someone that is still here, but in a very different capacity is harder than grieving someone who is gone. When someone is still here, there is always still a tiny grain of hope hanging in the back of your head that something can or will be different even if you know logically that it won’t. When you still have that, you can’t really start the process the mind needs to go through to grieve someone.

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I’m so grateful for you and others who have had similar experiences. Thoughts from all of you help me keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.

Surprisingly I feel I have already started that letting go and grieving process. Probably the fact that I made a conscious decision to drastically scale back my visits with Mom have helped me move in that direction. I can move slowly since I can’t do much of anything else to distract or focus me on moving anywhere else, given Covid restrictions.

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Just catching up with your blog, Sue. Sounds like you’ve really got your hands full. I do wish you well on this journey of yours, and I trust you will maintain your emotional equilibrium through all of it. Your writing shows you are a true survivor.

As to places to live (you asked in a previous post), I grew up in MI, moved to the DC area after college and lived there for 20 years before moving to California to finish my career. I’m now in Florida, so like you I’ve moved around quite a bit! I’d move back to the DC area in an instant if I could afford the cost of living there. It’s such a fabulous place. Glad to see you blogging! – Marty

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