Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ya Gotta Have Friends

I visited Mother Dear yesterday afternoon. I brought up two bouquets of flowers, since it takes two to fill up her large vase, and a bunch of clothes hangers.

When I entered the door, I rounded the corner and a woman said, "Someone is getting flowers!" I looked at her and she was walking with elbows interlocked mother! Mom recognized me and I discovered that the lady wasn't another person that lives there but a friend that was visiting the area from Florida.

Mary had stopped by here a couple of years ago to visit Mom and they have exchanged Christmas cards for years. For decades. (I have sent Mom's cards the last four years.) Mom worked with Mary at a hospital in southern Vermont back in the 1940's!

She brought Mom a mini rose bush (about 6" tall). She told me they'd been sitting out in the courtyard and she was returning Mom to the activities room where she found her. I led them back to Mom's room, we chatted a bit, and then Mary was on her way.

When I asked how she knew Mom was there, she told me that Mom's brother told her when he saw her at the local senior citizens' center. He hasn't been here in at least two years. And I don't think he's seen her since the move even though she's now five minutes away from him. Oh, living rent free in their parent's house that they co-own after my grandparents died. But I'm not bitter.

I understand that he "just doesn't want to see her that way." Well, join the fucking club. But we suck it up and do it because it's the right thing to do. It is the ultimate in selfishness. She's living with the disease but he can't stand to see someone else with it for a hour a week? Gimme a break.


citygirl said...

What a post! I was teary for the first few paragraphs, thinking about your mom's old friend visiting. I wondered if your mom recognized her and enjoyed the visit? I also wondered if people ever visited my mom without me knowing (because mom would forget that they visited by the time she saw me).

Then, I was enraged at your mom's brother. Talk about a turn of emotions! What a j*rk. I agree - he has to suck it up like the rest of us! Don't get me started about people living rent free or taking advantage of others when it comes to housing. Grr..

Lacey said...

Oh please...I just went thru it. Wait and see them all show up at the memorial service or funeral. People who couldn't be bothered for the last TEN years...grrrrrrrrr.

David Schantz said...

I recently posted a message about old friends becoming scarce after the diagnoses comes in. I'm sure you hit one of the main reason when you said, "just doesn't want to see her that way." and that kind of thinking is sad. I'd been trying to figure out how to tell Sues old friends how I felt about them not coming around anymore without driving them farther away but as it turned out I didn't have to. Four of them showed up here at the house last night. Sue loved it. Right now I have a feeling we will be seeing them more often.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Penny Pincher said...

Sometimes a vist from someone they've not seen in a long long while can re-awaken the brain for a short while - till they tire and go off line again.It's almost as if the memory cells take too much energy to keep actively firing up on a daily basis.
Best wishes.

rodger said...

That really sucks but it seems to be par for the course. I had the same experience with my mother's friends when she was dying of cancer. Not a one would come visit but you can bet they ALL showed up at the memorial service. ASSWIPES!

A Single Man said...

Yup, nobody wants to see loved ones "that way," whichever that way someone is.

We've certainly experienced it as have many others. Combination of selfishness, fear or mortality, whatever, etc. as well as the inevitable "I'm glad you're dealing with it so I don't have to."

I've called people on this behavior over the years and in my experience, it does no good. If the person didn't care enough to be around, they certainly won't want to be after I've ragged on them. So, I don't do that anymore...not that the end result is any different.

While our road as caregivers (or event just visitors) is very, very hard, it is the high road.