It's a picture perfect night in the Adirondacks; 60 degrees, cool, fresh mountain air, and full moon that is glowing in a nearly dark sky with small stars against a poetic blue velvet sky. Sitting on the lanai in a nearly damp lawn chair, nothing seems different than any other summer I have done so.
But tonight, something IS different. There is a sense that this is not as "for sure" as it has been. I was here last year, and the year before, and so on, even after chemo, after Italy, after the opera season, there was always the chair on the lanai for a few late night stare-at-the moon hours.
I never thought about how many more there may be; but I am thinking about that tonight. Circumstances and reality being what they are, being here this summer isn't the same. It just isn't. There is a foreboding sense that things will change, and this summer norm of being here and doing all the things my mom and I have traditionally done through the summer all these many years won't be so anymore. They just won't.
Mom is home; this is good. In six days time she has kicked pneumonia, put a bit of weight back on, is sleeping a little more, is a little less scared and from time to time acts like her "old self." But I have come to realize that things won't be the same, pre-fall, again. They just won't.
Therapists and nurses and doctors talk about getting her back to "pre-fall" conditions, and physically, that may be possible. But the loss of nutrition, weight and situational trauma from the totality of events may have taken an irrevocable toll on her. Sustaining her lifestyle for safety and comfort is at the forefront and is presenting new challenges; most of which are attainable among the family and resources at hand. But it won't be the same. it just won't.
She struggles with "all these people here" while knowing its needed for her to be in her home, where she wants to be. It's the new norm - someone here all the time. At 85, it's hard to just accept that in your own home; A walker. New norm. Knee brace. New norm. She knows she needs it, may not want it, but knows it's part of the program to be here; and thus, a new norm.
New norms now include my heart jumping when one of my brothers call me. Or when I see "Mom" on the phone screen wile I am out and the home aides are with her.
I am scared. I'm scared that my mom won't be able to stay in the house she has come to enjoy after selling her other one she built with her husband of over forty years. I am scared that she will not be able to shake the trauma of being in three different facilities and the subsequent experiences of them - though, overall, she received good care. I'm scared that one bad move will injure her further and home won't be an option at ALL - and that a facility will be the only option. Scared, sad, depressed; all these descriptors cover it.
One thing I am NOT scared of is my ability to make decisions for her welfare, safety and health. I didn't and don't have any regrets about the timing of my decision and following my gut in pulling her out of the rehab facility. My family was equally supportive and in agreement.
It is my fervent prayer to the Universe that this energy feeds her soul and recovery at a molecular level to create a new norm that brings my mom the physical, spiritual and emotional contentment and dignity that she should have in the twilight of her quiet life.
Should that not be the new norm ?