On Friday, May 5th 2017, my 58-year-old mother was admitted to the secure unit of a long-term care home in Farmington, New Mexico. I got the news around 10am that morning and while I knew it was coming, seeing it (it came via text) was shocking. I went into panic mode which for me alternates between a few behaviors. Anger (I want to throw glass at walls and punch things, I did not) sadness (uncontrollable crying and shaking) and calmness (me telling myself “this is fine, it is going to be ok, everything is going to be ok.)
So in one of the treatment rooms at the clinic where I work, I sat on the ground (yes, like a gremlin) alternating between these three places before I finally realized I needed to go home. David was able to come home from work early and for an hour of my clam state, we went to lunch and I tried to have a nice time.
We got back to the house and I felt like a weight was crushing me. The thought of what my mom, my dad, and my Aunt Greg were about to go through was like a semi-truck metaphorically (obvi) running over my heart over and over. At 3pm NM time, my mom went to her new home, and thirty minutes later my aunt and dad had to leave. Her first night there went as expected. She was confused, sad, mad, refuses to take her meds, and paced the corridors all night.
I know how I feel about all this, but when I imagine how my mom and my dad feel – it makes me that much sadder. My mom now wakes up in a unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. My dad wakes up to a house without my mom. They will, unless I win the lotto and can afford for 24/7 in home care, never live under the same roof again. My aunt described the experience as if she felt like she just left a funeral. That is how I felt and I was not even there to take my mom into the home. I spent the rest of Friday in bed before going to some friends for dinner, which I needed to do. I did not physically want to – I wanted to stay in bed all day moping. But when I got to our friend’s house it was filled with gut-busting laughter (thanks Cards Against Humanity) and sushi. I needed that.
So as I process these past few days and go from rage to anger to sadness to whatever other wave of emotion decides to hit me like a truck, I have turned to prayer (which may or may not include me asking God WTF MAN,) reading books that bring me peace, and channeling my favorite Elle Woods quote:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”
No, I at no point this past weekend wanted to kill my husband. He is great! But I did want to be happy – so I worked out. Drinking a bottle of wine and eating all the food would have been way easier, but it would have made me feel worse. So on Saturday we walked all around the seawall. 10.5 miles from our door around the West End, Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and through Gastown on a cold but sunny May day. Sunday I ran 6k for the first time in ages. Today I did a Jillian DVD.
I am not cured and these workouts haven’t changed the fact that life is still going on and a great deal of it is shit right now, but I can tell you that the surge of post workout endorphins has this past weekend given me a much-needed boost.
I also saw Guardians of The Galaxy 2, and Chris Pratt’s abs/sense of humour helped too;) BTW GOTG Vol 2. is a lot of fun, and baby Groot is the actual cutest.
Thank you again for those who have rallied behind me since Friday, which was one of the toughest days of my family’s life. I am#blessed (yep, I went there!) to know you.