My cousin just posted a meme saying, “ ‘Meatloaf’, should be the ultimate safe word because it means I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that”. This is a strange lead in to a post on how things are going on the home front caring for my mom in hospice, but there is a connection. I promise.

In this process, I keep saying not that, and then I find myself doing that, getting through that, That , and then another THAT outdoes the former That! Are you following? I cry “ Meatloaf” but that next bad thing keeps coming and I can’t control it. There’s no safe word to save me. I am not safe. Mom is literally dying, and she is stuck with me and that has to be extremely unsettling, too.

Writing helps me process, so while this may help others out there, I am trying to help myself primarily. What do you do when you are faced with an unfavorable thing and you have to go through it? It’s not a matter of simply setting boundaries or creating better habits, although I am doing both of those as I go through this journey. I can change the things I can but the things that I cannot change, well, I am just holding on for the ride and praying to anyone listening. I hate rollercoasters and this ride, this hospice ride, where I was forced to get in, and cannot get off until it’s over, sucks. It sucks so much. Only those who have gone through it know what I mean.

I watched mom fall and get hurt, complain of pain, I have bandaged her over and over, struggled to find what she can still eat, she has lost so much weight, and she lost so much independence. For two weeks she fought me hard about driving. This week she needs to check with me before going outside because she had a big fall the other day. I feel like there is a hand on my heart squeezing the life out of me as I watch my mom fail slowly. There’s no safe word. There are no ruby slippers to take me back to a happier time and place. I am locked on this hospice roller coaster to the end. I know how it ends and I hate that too.

So as mom stood over the toilet this evening and told me there was something in there that should not be, I got on some rubber gloves and fished out the chapstick that dropped in. “Meatloaf” isn’t my safe word. I don’t know what I will do for love next, but I am strapped in. Peace to any of you who are on this awfully sucky but sacred ride as well. Mom won’t be here at the end of this ride, and for that woman, I probably do it all again.

Mom has been watching PBS shows with painters like Bob Ross and others. She wants to paint some happy little trees soon. I am ready with the supplies when she is. Creativity will most likely be our pathway into transforming this time that is beyond our control into some beautiful, funny, and sensational memories.

Author: Tracy May

Teacher, Life Coach, Artist, Author, Public Speaker

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