'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Song for Sunday



Worn by Tenth Avenue North
(Mike Donehey, Jeff Owen, Jason Ingram)

I'm tired, I'm worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing
I've made mistakes
I've let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I wanna know the sun can rise from the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won't let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I wanna know the sun can rise from the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

My prayers are wearing thin
I'm worn
Even before the day begins
I'm worn
I've lost my will to fight
I'm worn
Heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I wanna know the sun can rise from the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that's dead inside will be reborn

Though I'm worn
Yeah I'm worn

***

This song is exactly how I feel right now! Caring for my 87 year old mom is becoming all consuming. She can't really do much of anything anymore. She has lung and heart issues and some mild dementia in the form of short term memory loss and light confusion. 70 years of smoking a pack or more a day has taken it's toll. We have caregivers and hospice in a portion of everyday so they do the basic housework and see to her daily meals and aid her with her showers. I did it by myself for a year. Now I just have to oversee the household and it's running. It's the emotional toll that is dragging me down. She has always been 'enmeshed', as a counselor would say, with me. Doesn't seem to know where she ends and I begin, but it is so much worse now that she is so child like.

The phone calls start the minute she gets up and as long as I'm not with her they continue all day until she goes to bed. If I don't answer or step out of the house for an hour I come home to 12 or more answering machine messages from her sometimes only 4 minutes apart. Then she starts calling my cell the same way. We're on the 4th phone call already this morning and it's only been an hour and a half since she got up. This is what is wearing me out. I've threatened to take her phone away and she will stop for awhile but then she forgets and starts again.

Then there is the manipulation tactics :( Chest pain if I'm going away for a few days or I've gotten upset with her, acting confused and asking silly questions to get sympathy. Sometimes its genuine and sometimes it is manipulation. She's done this for years, but now its more complicated because there are real issues and it wears you out trying to decide if its for real or she's playing you. She has been a very unhappy person to begin with. Makes it hard sometimes to be kind and loving.

So this is my struggle right now, I'm worn, I want to be loving and kind and some days I don't do a very good job of it. Then I beat myself up for not. How many times have I reacted negatively when she really was afraid or feeling lost and needed me to be kind and strong for her? Why do I make this about me when she is at the end of her life and it should be about her? I struggle with this issue of being a good daughter. Even though I am 'doing' the right things I feel the resentment and bitterness that I harbor. Some days I hate my mom and that is my undoing. It would only be natural you say, I know that, but it doesn't help. I'm very hard on myself. It is what it is when you've had a difficult relationship with a parent all your life, I guess, and now it's come down to the end and it is more complicated. Maybe you've had a good relationship all your life with your parent and they are easy to take care of and you think I'm terribly selfish. And maybe you've been there too and never admitted out loud to anyone those terrible moments you feel that way. When you ask how long are they going to live!? People would think you a monster after all! I don't, we can just be 'monsters' together. I'll give you grace if you give me grace. And if you've had an easy time of it, your blessed!

I also have a handicapped brother that I have to see to. He doesn't live with me, but I am his main 'take care of this and that person'. And my dad is almost 86 and I take care of his finances and medications. So I do have a lot on my plate. Most of the time I am positive and upbeat. But sometimes... well, I'm worn. I have one person who I can be brutally honest with and she never judges and always encourages (you know who you are!) and I love her dearly. I hope you have someone like that too, if not, I'll be that person for you.

So maybe you think I'm whining, maybe I am, but I just thought I would be brutally honest and bare my soul. Just maybe it would help someone else out there who is struggling with the same thing. For me it is not only a tangible struggle it is a spiritual struggle. Just like the song says, I've let my hope fail, my heart is heavy, my joy is gone. My eyes should look up but I'm too weak. I need to see the sun rise from a broken life. Not only for me, but for my mom because she can't do it for herself. So this song is my prayer. If your a praying person, I would covet your prayers.

In the end redemption wins,
Peggy Ann



14 comments:

  1. You are in my thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))

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  2. Oh Peggy...you should not feel badly at all...you are doing more than any one person can do! It is a difficult wearing role that you have...and it's not just your mom but your brother and your father, too! I feel for you and my heart aches for you because you are doing amazing things...you have a total right to snap every once in a while...get away without feeling guilty...this is your one and only life and you have such a joy and gift..I don't want you to lose it and I don't have any alternatives for you...we just lost our last living parent...Den's dad...and it's rough getting used to the absence of phone calls, too...just try to take care of yourself...

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  3. Oh, Peggy, I am sorry you and your mother are going through this. I wish I could say I know how you feel. My mother is exactly the same age and has dementia and health problems. The issues are not the same, she cannot use the phone for example and is very dependent for just about everything. My sister is the caregiver and I am miles away on the other side of the country, and I am little help. So I know the realities of the situation, but haven't lived the day to day struggle except for a short time. You are being very strong and I don't think you are whining at all. I do not belong to a religion but I believe in the power of prayer and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  4. Peggy, it beats me how you are managing to stay sane under the circumstances. In my experience it's always the people who care the most who end up beating themselves up about not being perfect. As you know I'm not religious, but positive thoughts are going your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sane? Who said I was sane? Hee hee!

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  5. Oh gosh, Peggy. What a familiar story this is. Both my parents have passed away now but they separated when I was five and my relationship with my father was difficult my whole life. My mother did not have dementia like yours but she was a phone pest in just that way. I can so sympathise with you and never think you're whiney. My goodness, it can drive you up the wall. A few times my husband would come home from work and find me crying because my mother wouldn't stop phoning. It's horrible, just horrible. I too have a disabled brother but luckily he lives with his partner and is not my responsiblity. I really do feel for you and although I'm not a religious person, I'm sending positive vibes and good thoughts. Try to take care of yourself. *Hugs*

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cath! Feels better just knowing someone else went thru it too and didn't't pull the phone off the wall and stomp it to pieces! Hugs back to you sweetie!

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  6. My heart goes out to you, Peggy. You're doing all you can and you should forgive yourself for being human and having resentful feelings. But it's easier to tell someone to do that than to do it.

    My mother and I had a very close relationship. She was a wonderful, loving, selfless, generous, smart, and humble woman. She had dementia for the last six or so years of her life, most of that time spent in a nursing home. It's a disease that destroys and ravages and is unforgivable. She lost the ability to speak and move, and her mind was gone. Like TracyK, I was living eight hours away and my sister was the person here in PA managing things and working a full-time job. I still feel guilty for not moving back here sooner to help take care of her.

    We're all human. We do the best we can. I worry that I'll end up the way she did. It helps to talk to other people about what we're feeling. Big hugs to you, Peggy. You're a terrific person. Your family is lucky to have you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joan. I am blessed not to have to work.

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  7. Peggy, what more can I offer - I echo what others have said. Words are not enough and I do hope you take comfort from us all.

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    Replies
    1. I do, Margaret. I am blessed to have all of you for blog friends. Thanks.

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