I’m sitting here (Tuesday, January 6th, 2015) watching the snow fly ever so softly out my window and feeling guilty. Guilty because my mother just called and asked me to come to her hospital bed to be with her. I refused. We want her to come home today and, if she does, it’ll mean more traveling in the snow to go get her, get her groceries and set up at her house. It’ll mean hours of stress and I had planned on not having any stress this morning. I planned on writing this blog. I planned on just doing for myself for a few hours.
Forgetting for a few hours.
And then she called.
She won’t eat. And she won’t go to the bathroom because she won’t eat. So they won’t let her come home. And I can’t make her eat. Or go to the bathroom. And I’m tired myself and, frankly, not eating so well. And she wanted me to come and be her aide. But there are aides there in the hospital. They are paid to help. They are trained to help.
But she wanted me.
I should have gone.
I have to draw the line somewhere. I’ve been there every day for the last eight days. On New Years Eve we spent 5 and a half hours by her side. I need to take care of myself too. And I don’t have a team of paid professionals at my beck and call.
But I feel guilty.
I should be there. I should go to her. Risk life and limb to be with her. Sacrifice my own health to be there. Sit with her every waking minute–even when there is no conversation to be had–just to BE THERE. I can’t do a damn thing to help, but I could be there.
But I said no.
And now there is a tremendous amount of guilt.
My husband went. He was at work and within a few minutes drive to her so he’ll go. But it isn’t his responsibility. It’s mine. As the daughter. It rests on me. Solely me.
I should be there.
But I can’t make myself do it anymore. I’m tired. Mentally and physically exhausted. I simply can’t. do. it. It’s too hard. I’m not ready for this responsibility. I’m not prepared to be the “care giver.” I’m not ready.
A friend said “The airline stewardess says to put your oxygen mask on first. You are doing a lot for mom and now you need to take care of yourself. She needs to take care of what she can.”
But the guilt remains.