A Friend's Sobs Over My Mom's Declines

Denise

A Friend's Sobs Over My Mom's Declines

Denise
weeping-willow-382140_640Yesterday, I took my parents to see the two-bedroom apartment in the independent living facility they'll move to on Saturday.

My dad loves the apartment and feels relief over the move. My mom still believes she doesn't need help. While my mom agreed to the move and had visited the facility over the years, she had yet to see the apartment.

When we arrived at the independent living facility, we saw my mom's friend--another resident--in the lobby. My mom, in the wheelchair, called out to her friend, Mrs. H., who immediately came to give my mom a hug and a kiss. As they chatted, I saw a tear slowly roll down Mrs. H's cheek. Oh, she's got allergies, I thought because I'm somewhat obsessed with allergies.

But then I could see her face start to get red and her eyes really start to water. "What's wrong, Mrs. H."? the facility salesperson asked. "You must be glad to see Sally (my mom)." Mrs. H. nodded.

Mrs. H did her best to continue the conversation with my mom, but then moved behind the wheelchair to stand next to me, out of my mom's eyesight and earshot. As she stood next to me, she started to sob. "I'm sorry," she repeated as she wept. I did my best to console her, telling her it was okay. She cried in the crook of my shoulder.

We needed to meet with the salesperson so I started to wheel my mom forward. Mrs. H. went to my dad to give him a hug. With more distance from my mom, Mrs. H. really sobbed as my dad hugged her. Oh, gosh, I can hear her now, weeping and apologizing.

Sometimes, I'm still startled by my mom's appearance, which dimes out her declines. Mrs. H.'s sadness about how much my mom lost these past few months in some ways provided me comfort. My mom says she doesn't need help, that she would do fine at home.

What Mrs. H. saw gives me strength in my decisions to surround my mom with help, even if she can't recognize the help that circles her.