by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
Never has a phrase been as poignant than that for Mr. L and his sister and me.
You see, Mr. L's mother is 99.5 years old. In the past year or so, she's had several bouts of congestive heart failure, and this week we were told that her arteries and a heart valve are so clogged that she needs more care than the wonderful assisted living facility where she has been for the past 2.5+ years can give.
So, Mother must go to a nursing home.
But now we are at a different place. She needs more care than the assisted living facility can give.
As of this writing, we don't know where she will end up. It's all about space available.
Sadly, I've been there, done that--bought the T-shirt--when it came to the end-of-life decisions I and my mother had to make for my Dad. Everything we're going through has churned up all those feelings which I thought were long past. They're not. They're just as fresh today as they were in the fall of 2009.
The truth is, my mother-in-law and I were never close; but Mr. L and his sister love her with all their hearts. How could they not? She is their MOTHER! We have strived to make sure that my mother-in-law has been in a safe place where people can take good care of her. Nobody deserves less.
The thing is, nobody escapes this life alive. There are only two eventualities: death and taxes, and sadly, death is all my mother-in-law has to look forward to.
Like George Bailey, she's had a wonderful life, but it's breaking our hearts to know that her life will soon end and the sadness we feel is overwhelming, for never can one recover from the loss of a parent, sibling, or child.
Valentine's Day is supposed to be a happy event, and I'm sorry but I just can't muster it today. But I do thank you for listening, and I invite you to share your own stories of grief in honor of a loved one. If nothing else, we can commiserate.