Losing hope

I feel as if I’ve been struggling to drag a huge shapeless bag – full of water maybe, so that when you try to coax it over an obstacle it just slumps into a different awkward shape – and getting nowhere at all, painfully.

Now I’ve lost hope. I can’t fix my mother. I can’t make her happy  or healthy or make her days full of interest and enjoyment. I can’t make her young again.

What can I do? I can visit her every week or two (mostly with my excellent husband; thank you, Paul, for patience and driving, a hundred miles out and another hundred home again) and buy groceries and take her to the bank and make sure she pays bills and pick up prescriptions and organize her pills so she knows which ones to take each day. I can phone her, three times a day, in the morning to order her to take her morning pills, in the afternoon to chat so she doesn’t go day after day with no human contact, in the evening to tell her to take her night pills right now. I can remind her when she has doctor’s appointments. In between, I can go on with my life. I can’t fix her, and knowing that, it turns out that I can give up being guilty and fretful.

I’ll let that bag of water trickle away and concentrate on picking up one stick or stone at a time and putting it where it needs to be. Losing false hope; what a relief!

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4 responses to “Losing hope

  1. It sounds like she is incredibly lucky to have you for a daughter.

  2. Wow. Your candor is refreshing. I hope you are able to find rest and energy in the midst of all you do.

    • Thank you, Cathy. It is an enormous strain – I’m finding, though, that it’s easier if I realize that much of the situation is out of my hands. I can do various practical things, and once I do them it’s time to move back to other parts of my life instead of picking obsessively at problems I can’t solve.

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