It's been four weeks since I blurted out to The Other Girl, "I can't do this anymore." Things have moved quickly since then - Mom moves to her new home next week. I have spent the last few days inventorying what she'll need, making purchases, packing clothes/pictures/personal items, signing papers, measuring the apartment, meeting more of the staff and residents as I've bustled in and out of the memory care facility. All things I expected.
I've had moments of sadness, doubt, melancholy - which I also expected as a daughter transitioning from 24/7 care to part-time; moving her dementia mother out of her home and into an unfamiliar atmosphere, surrounded by strangers.
But what I didn't expect is an overwhelming feeling of excitement. And I'm a tad shocked that at times I've been practically giddy! And you know what? It feels good to be giddy again.
I'm giddy about weird things. The other day when I was measuring Mom's new apartment I struck up a conversation with a couple of the residents. I was enjoying chatting with them so much, and seeing their pleasure in the interaction, that I was on a high for the rest of the day. I'm excited to get to know Mom's neighbors! And I'm excited for her to meet them! I'm looking forward to seeing who she responds to positively, and to see which of 'em is gonna get "The Look' (the one where's she's letting you know she's had just about enough of you - so back the F off).
I've also taken a lot of pleasure in picking out new things for her place, planning the color palette to be soft and pleasing, choosing her existing furniture with care to create a homey space, making curtains that have her favorite flowers on them to brighten her room, and hopefully her mind. (My sewing skills are crap, but I can hem four sides of a square at least!)
There's also the excitement I did expect: making plans for Girl's Night ("I'm open! Let's drink, and bitch, and drink!"), barbecues, parties, visiting friends - I can now say "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to all.
Another shock... I can not wait for the move happen. I assumed I would cherish the time I have left with Mom at home; savor the special moments these last final weeks, but instead I've been counting down the days, like a kid waiting for Christmas. Why am I in a hurry to abandon Mom? To plunge her into an unfathomable betrayal? It's going to be painful for all of us, especially as The Other Girl and I have been advised to remain away for a full week, allowing her time to adjust. So what the hell with my emotions? After puzzling this one out, I realized that a) I'm 95% sure the misery will be temporary, and the other 5% only time will tell, and b) Mom, The Other Girl, and myself can not work through the pain of separation, worry, and fear we are going to experience until it happens, and as I'm so ready to get to the other side of it all, I want the shit to hit NOW. I'm exhausted by the anticipation of how we're all going to react, I'd rather be exhausted by the reacting, and the problem solving it will take to get us through to a better place.
So I vacillate between impatience and giddiness. I did not see that coming at all.
Was Judas excited when he betrayed Jesus? Maybe. Depending on how much silver he got for the deal he might of done a bit of a happy dance. I tell 'ya, a bag of heavy coinage would certainly go a long way in soothing my inevitable traitorous branding - I'll probably be getting "The Look" for at least a month as Mom transitions and settles in. That's okay, I've already got my story down.