Yes. Again and again, I must grieve the next step Mom takes away from us. Now we must make another move at Bickford–this time to the memory care area, known as Mary B’s [Bickford] in honor of the mother for whom the first Bickford Cottage was built. Her family could not find a place to treat their mother the way they wanted her treated, and so they built the right kind of place, hired the people, and put policies in place that make so much difference to us, Mom’s family. Anyway, Mary B’s is small, quiet, with a lower ceiling, and a 3-to-1 ratio of residents per aide instead of 7-to-1 in the assisted living area. I am convinced this is the right move, but it feels like a betrayal, like I’m taking her from what little is familiar and into more confusion. Yet she needs much more care now, and we don’t have 24-hr. private duty, so she is alone too much, and is much too tottery to move around now without assistance. How I wish I’d never thought to move Mom so recently and then have to make another move, but… we do the best we can with what we know at the time, and I am trying to let that regret go.
This hurts, it hurts, it hurts, but it is “clean” pain, as my therapist says–the real kind to feel and weep and rage, rage against this terrible dying of the light. And so I do. The other night, as I lay in bed, I decided that the next time I Skyped with my almost-3-year-old granddaughter, I would tell her a story about Mom when she was a little girl. I could hear and see my mother telling the story–of her taking two dogs for a walk on one rope, a dog at each end, and putting the rope around her neck, and how she nearly strangled–and I wept, thinking that my mother doesn’t remember that story anymore, and that I can’t hear her tell it. So I am her memory of those days, as is my sister, as well all those to whom she told her self-deprecating, hilarious stories. I miss hearing her speak lucidly so much. I will adjust to this latest change, and things will smooth out for awhile, but there is more pain to come, and there is nothing to do but welcome it, and take care of Mom.