But of course I have to at some point – isn’t that what life is all about? The scariest thing about a roller coaster ride is that wait in line. You can see the riders who get on before you getting pulled up the track, hear their screams and the whoosh of the cars and then witness their shaky steps out of the coaster and down the ramp. Then you witness it again…and again… and by the time you get to the front of the line you are not certain you want to go through with this after all!
So the good stuff first – I had a great weekend of sublime and delicious sleep with Harry and traveled to my former city Upstate for dinner with friends. But oh – the sleep!! I don’t know if it’s the weather, allergies or just the time of year but I was zonked. Usually I am pretty insistent about sex – and lots of it – but this time, whenever I lay down with H and put my head on his shoulder I was out in 2 minutes or less. Crazy, but needed.
And I came home to an extra day off – as Monday was Memorial Day – and Jack, Max and I went to the beach! I know people don’t often think of New York City as a beach town, but we are surrounded by water and right on the Atlantic Ocean to boot. We went to Jacob Riis Park which is utterly fabulous and makes you think you could be anywhere on the East Coast. We sunned and picnicked, Max jumped in the freezing cold waves and we all talked and just enjoyed each other.
On the way back through Brooklyn we got spumoni and took a little tour through our former neighborhood. Max asked about the house we lived in when he was a baby and so we drove down our old street to show him. Out former landlords were on the porch and we stopped and introduced them to Max – who was not even a year old when we moved and who is now almost 10! – and got caught up with them and their kids.
It was a great, great day. Relaxed, fun and stress-free. E was out of town on business, so I didn’t have to cope with any of her moods – either directed at me or Jack – and I could enjoy my own house.
And now the blech – the down part of the coaster. I saw my parents on Sunday and my mother is doing so poorly. My dad and I went to talk to the director of a memory care center just 4 weeks ago and secured a spot for her. Now, she can’t go. Her decline has been so precipitous over the past month. She now can’t feed herself consistently, walk independently or toilet herself. This means a whole new approach – this means 24 hour care for her.
My dad is 78 – he cannot continue taking care of my 75 year old mother full time. We looked into nursing homes – holy mackerel!!! 425$ a day!! And nothing is paid for by insurance or Medicare. This process is very daunting and very discouraging. I am so happy that I can help my dad out – but my week has been spent doing research, calling facilities and trying to figure out how to get my mom the care she needs at a price my dad can afford. I will say, this living too long as a custodial patient is for the birds. She will never improve, never get better, we think she is in pain from the micro-fractures she keeps having, her quality of life is terrible. If she was a pet, you know what the recommendation would be.
I know that sounds harsh – but my mom with all of her good and bad qualities- is long gone. Whatever used to be her has been taken over by the lesions and plaques and tangles in her brain. She is just a basic husk of a human now. And eventually, her body will forget how to swallow food and water and at that point we will let her go. But when is that? Who knows – maybe months, maybe years.
I have seen my friends go through this, but I am at the head of the roller coaster line now. I sure don’t want to get on – but I have no choice and I’ve got to ride it until it’s over.