I can usually tell when mom is a little more hyper than usual…… her energy to me feels scattered, like tiny shiny molecules all jumbled up. This vibe makes me anxious. We arrived. She sat. I read. 5 minutes before Mass started, the hyper-crazy took hold and my mom started to bolt—her two framed pictures of her boyfriend the priest in hand; and yes, they are the exact same pictures—I dropped my book and grabbed her and pulled her down to her seat.
She fought back.
I struggled to keep her in her seat.
She started to whine……………………….. “Dejame! Dejame. Porque no me dejas!?”
I started to plead. “Gaita, por favor. POR FAVOR SIENTASE!”
I tried threats…………………………………. Sit down or we are leaving. Like I could drag her out without causing my 73-year-old mother to suffer a complete meltdown.
In seconds, she was up again and I placed my arms around her and pulled her down to her seat. The women in our pew tried to distract her. “Margarita, mira esto! Margarita!” She would have none of that. To keep mighty mom in her seat, I flung my legs over her lap and tried to get her to focus on me. This went on for about 3 minutes.
The priest finally came down the aisle and again tried to jump into the aisle to invite him over to dinner—AGAIN!
He came over, held her hand and she started yelling. This yelling is a new behavior. I don’t think it’s her intention to scream at people………………… dad, says he’s noticed this new behavior as well. The yelling. It’s difficult. She yells out people’s names in the middle of mass, “Hola, mi Connie! Hola, mi Maria!” During Communion, she yells at the priest to come to dinner………………………………………. “Mi esposo la fruta mi esposo y yo queremos que tu la fruta en la FRUTA CON NOSOTROS!” She holds up the line for a good minute before taking in the Body of Christ.
AMEN MOM! AMEN! Move along.
Physically restraining your own mother takes a toll, I think, on you spirit. I mean, seriously? Who does that? Maybe in some movie where the mother lost her beloved child and she’s about to attack the person who did it, then you hold her back. But in my case, it’s another cut on my soul. Not a stab, but a slice. Another slice. I have about 1,000 of them. Slice. Scab. Slice. Scab. Slice. Scab.
After the whole Communion situation, I sat in our pew (and like a good Catholic mother, I made her get on her knees for the confessing of sins part, because she totally gets it—not at all. Bad habits die very hard) and started to cry.
I don’t cry very often over this mess. Not anymore. So when I do, it’s a result of emotion overload. I’m angry, embarrassed, hurt, resentful, tired and frustrated that I can’t make her behave like a normal human being.
I can’t control her.
She will not listen to me. Instead, she laughs at me.
My church friend Teresa came over and sat next to me. She held my hand. My mom, no longer able to sympathize, empathize or any-thize, was just looking around for her friends and rehearsing what she was going to say to the priest AGAIN.
After this, we went to Target. I bought her hotpink nail polish, went home and painted her nails.
Sometimes the child becomes the parent. When a parent becomes impaired, sometimes the child becomes responsible for that parent. Unless you have done it, you cannot imagine the trauma it can cause a child. To see your parent become a person you do not recognize and you are still willing to take care of her and take her to the familiar places that are supposed to soothe her, is a sacrifice only a child can undertake. Every feeling you have, every thought you have are all part of the process that will lead to an understanding of yourself and the awesome tribute you are giving to your mother. You are a truly amazing woman.
yikes. btw – i will repeat the open invitation to drinks on my porch should your journey ever ever ever bring you to the great state of MI.
Que pena Kathy. No puedo estar contigo apoyandote cuando van a la iglesia pero creeme, siempre pienso en ti y en Gaita.
thank you for the invite! drinks it is. k
thank you my friend. thank you for your words.
I hope you understand the gifts you give to the rest of us through your Blog…
Some of us wishing that our ordeal would be as easy as yours…
Some of us grateful for recognizing our situation with our parent/loved one is so much more bearable than we thought it was compared to your struggles…
I often wonder if we fully realize the gift we are receiving as we work through the crazy ordeals of life… and how the gift grows as we share it with others.
May the Lord continue to bring to your family Comfort and Favor as you grow though this season in your life… and cherish this season – it may never come again!