I’ve been anxious about telling Mom that I can’t take her to Colorado for her granddaughter’s high school graduation or to Ohio for the annual Memorial Day family reunion. I almost brought it up when we were talking in her room on Sunday, but I was afraid it would upset her and I didn’t want to end Mother’s Day on a sour note. About half of my therapy session this afternoon was devoted to planning how I would tell her when I visited this evening.
As it turned out, both the anxiety and the careful planning were for naught. I kissed her hello when I came in and handed her a card that had arrived from my cousin in Maryland, addressed to “Aunt Dot” c/o my address. After she read the card (out loud), Mom asked me “Are you going to be able to help me go back to Ohio for Memorial Day?” I took a deep breath and said “Well, we need to talk about that. Your doctors would prefer that you didn’t travel quite yet. They want to get your blood pressure and the swelling in your legs better under control first.” I suggested that we postpone Ohio until later in the summer or perhaps in the fall when we could see the changing colors of the leaves, something she has told me she misses. She nodded thoughtfully. “Memorial Day is kind-of the special reunion time, but that’s OK… It probably is better to be cautious.”
I told her that I didn’t want to risk that a big trip might be too much for her and cause her to get sick again, just when she’s finally feeling healthy and chipper after not feeling well for such a long time. She understood and agreed. She was sorry about missing her granddaughter’s graduation, but she understood the reasons (the high altitude being a bad idea for someone with her specific health conditions) and accepted it with good grace. I promised to take lots of pictures and told her that I would bring over a graduation card for her to sign. She squeezed my hand and thanked me, and that was that.
I am, as ever, so grateful for my mother’s trusting nature and easygoing disposition. She doesn’t dwell on problems or get anxious about things. I could take some lessons from her on that! And I am deeply grateful that I found a place where I know she is safe and well cared for and has pleasant company – so that I can leave for a few days, to celebrate my niece’s high school graduation, without worrying about her.
Everything I’ve been through the last eight months was worth it to arrive here, to have the peace of mind that I have tonight.