Let's set the stage. The mama loves being with her family. It's the only thing she cares about. Where are her people? Are they together having fun without me? Why aren't we together? Why can't we be at the vacation place right now? As with her friend's funeral earlier in the year, there was much anticipation and then when she got in the car she didn't know where she was going. She thought she didn't pack. She thought that we were having a party and then coming home. Sometimes she knew where we were and sometimes she didn't.
In the last few weeks she's suffered a setback. She's weak and barely able to walk. It took 32 minutes for her to walk from my front door to her car the other day. On vacation she was floppy like a noodle, and getting her to the bath was challenging. Also the bed in her room was about three inches too high, so we had to almost lift her into bed each time.
My vacation week consisted of:
- 1 day cooking
- 1 day kitchen cleanup
- 1 day as Mom's daytime concierge
- Several mornings helping siblings get Mom dressed, showered, etc. (it's now a multi-person job)
- 4 nights sleeping with Mom, waking up 2 or 3 times a night for a half hour to take her to the restroom
- 1 night sleeping in the den so special guests (who were really lovely) could stay in a bedroom
- 1 3-hour discussion about Mom's health
- 1 4-hour discussion about Mom's health with all of the siblings
- 1 20-minute talk about Mom's future with one sibling.
- 1 apology conversation after my own personal misery made me act out and hurt my sister's feelings
- 1 5 1/2 hour drive
- 1 4 hour drive
- 1 morning of cleanup and packing out
- Endless maudlin toasts to the Dead at dinner
- No bears
All of this begs the question of who this is for. The mama? It does give her something to look forward to and agitate about, but it was too much for her and the air at that elevation is super thin. The next generation? Maybe. My generation? Definitely not. Again, as of this year I am done. I love my family but not enough to take a week off of work so I can work non-stop and be unhappy with myself about being grumpy and ungrateful.
Thanks to mrguy, I have ideas about turning our week-long misery-fest into something resembling a true family reunion.