Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Mother's House

I call it "My Mother's House" because she took possession of it not so very long after she moved in there, stranger though she was to the family and town.

Dad figured out how to dig out a basement, and do the cement work, and shore up the foundations. I remember when it was nothing but a dirt crawlspace under the house. He built a stairway to the attic, finished the floors and insulated the roof; I remember when there was just a rough-hewn ladder in the pantry to get to the attic. (and I do mean rough -- there was bark clinging to the steps of the ladder!)

He put in a septic system, and indoor plumbing. I remember when there was still just an outhouse at the end of the yard. He made the back porch into a laundry room, he made the dirt below the porch into a graceful patio, the yard into a bountiful garden, the extra space into a greenhouse and nursery.

Dad did all that, and it was all for my mother, and she was the owner of it all.

Tomorrow morning, she has to relinquish her castle. She's being moved to a nursing home, which none of us really want, but is inevitable. Her caregivers have fallen short of their promises; her funds are dwindling. Alzheimer's has been her purgation: she's lost her memories, her strength, her knowledge, her control, and now her properties.

Part of me prayed that she would die in her sleep, like her brother Salvi, or that she would drop dead in her tracks, like her brother Buddy, rather than have to be removed to a nursing home. But she keeps on going, weak and tottery but still meaner than any other person I've ever met.

The other half of me is relieved that she won't die in that house, because she is so possessive that she would be sure to haunt it. There are enough ghosts in that house as it is; if she had infested it as a spirit, it would have been a war zone, because what ghosts there were would be from my father's family, all of whom she hated unconditionally.

Tomorrow the siege is broken; she will no longer hold the castle. The war is over.

1 comment:

Tweetywill said...

I'm sorry to hear, but relieved to know that your mother will be better cared for.
We had to do the same for my grandmother after she nearly starved to death because she simply forgot to eat. Although it was very sad, it actually was a great relief to the family. We got a few more quality years with her before her death thanks to the wonderful people at the care center, instead of sleepless nights wondering if she was going to leave a pot on the stove until it caught fire. (again...)

I hope your mother will also receive the kind of care that will make the remainder of her time as pleasant as possible.