This is, without question, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
While Bill, Mom’s gentleman friend, is away seeing his daughter graduate from high school, I am here seeing to Mom’s 24 hour care and comfort.
I’m finding that the act of caring for Mom feels a fair bit like tending to an infant (granted, a highly articulate and coorperative one, but an infant nonetheless). We were up twice in the middle of the night last night (and exceedingly early this morning), mostly to tend to issues of discomfort and repositioning. As a result, I’m feeling an all-too-familiar deja-vu from my days of being mom to babies Punkin’ Pie and Beanie. I have to admit that I’m dragging a bit today, and I expect that to continue as we make our way through tonight.
It’s not the getting up in the middle of the night that’s difficult, though. In fact, I find that’s not difficult at all; I’ve done it before and will gladly sacrifice sleep for the sake of my mother’s safety and comfort.
No; what’s upsetting to me is the fact that, for all I can do for her, there is a universe of things I can’t do. I can’t calm her pain to let her sleep. I can’t stunt (nor reverse) the progress of the disease which will take her life. Standing helplessly by while my beloved mother moans in pain is almost more than I can bear.
I bear it, though, because the thought of her suffering alone is even worse. My deepest wish is that my presence affords her some modicum of comfort, however ineffectual that may be at easing her physical pain.