2019 is one of the worst years of my life. It started with my Mother being very sick after entering the hospital on my birthday, Christmas Eve. 2018. Ultimately, she was moved from the hospital to a nursing home where she would live for the next 10 months until 4 days before her death.
January was especially a shit show because my very smart, very slick, very sneaky mother had found a new Assisted Living Home she wanted to move in to. She had given notice to her present Home and wanted to move. We were all in favor of this move because it was closer to me and cheaper. Well, we later find out that she had signed up for the independent living part of the home…not the assisted living part. Well, touche‘ mom. That was a good one. However, my brother, put a wrench in that real quick. As POA, he had final say. And he said NO. So, as mom was moved to the nursing home she had a deadline of 10 days to get moved out of the present home. Time to get busy.
I had to hire some movers. Rent a storage unit. Organize the move. My hubby was a huge help. Thank God for him. I also had to do a sweep of the room to get the valuables as well as make sure there was no contraband. Did I mention my mom was sneaky? She holds the record for sneaking the largest amount of pain pills into our local hospital. She hid them between her legs. lol. She was a mess. It was an extremely stressful time as I of course was working a full time job as well as visiting my mom in the nursing home as often as I could and to say she was depressed would be an understatement.
I went to see her every Saturday for the first few months. She was either depressed and crying or throwing a pity party when I visited. I tried to encourage… inspire… and distract as best I could but most nights I left there feeling completely defeated. I made a promise to my dad. I told him I would take care of her and I was trying my best. Sometimes it was enough…sometimes it wasn’t.
I became in charge of her finances. Not sure how that happened. But guess it made since since I saw her and visited her the most. My brother lived in Mississippi and my sister in law, the widow of my other brother, had pretty much wiped her hands of Mom. I could not quite wrap my head around why that had happened. But after a few months everything became much clearer. They had been sheltering me. In some ways I’m thankful…but in other ways I’m not. I’m thankful that I had this nearly perfect image of my Mom for so many years… But it wasn’t authentic. She was showing me what she wanted me to see… she was manipulating me. The family didn’t want to spoil our relationship and they wanted me to find out for myself what she was truly like on the dark days. And I did.
We got Mom a Jitterbug phone (phone for old people) and a google chromebook because she was having so much trouble with her apple products. She had about 20 different notebooks with different passwords in it. She was constantly being locked out of her phone and other devices and we thought this would help her. Well at first it was fine..but then she began to get better. The better she got, the meaner she got. I began to hear all the ugly things she was saying about me…. man that hurt. She was the only parent I had left that I had a relationship with and to hear her talk negatively about me broke my heart. See, I have some abandonment issues from my birth mother…another story for another day. So Moms most recent complaint was her phone…she called me and told me to get my ass over to her home and get her an iphone. I called my brother, the Patriarch of the family…..he said for me to go ahead and get her a new phone..whatever she wants. I was livid when I got to her home. When I walked in she said “why are you so mad at me?” what in the actual fuck? So I tell her get dressed…lets go… we are going to get you a new iphone. Here comes the miss innocent act…. she said “no, I don’t have to have an iphone marie…I just want a newer phone”. See the phone I had given her was a used one… just to see if she liked it and it wasn’t a smartphone…. So off I go… in search of a smart Jitter bug phone. I spent the next few hrs in search of this fucking phone. I finally found one over an hour away. So, I get back and sit in my car for the next hour switching her contacts, etc. Get inside and throw it at her…no, just kidding, I didn’t actually throw it. But I did very quickly go over it with her and then I left. She called my brother and seemed to be content with her new phone. All was well with the world except the cat was out of the bag. That was my first glimpse of the selfish, manipulative and fake side of my Mom. And that was just a mild version. But I saw what the others had lived with for decades. I should have known better…she was married to my father so I should have known there were demons in there somewhere. She had to be a strong, bullheaded ballsy woman to stand toe to toe with my father. Well, I met her. And I didn’t like her. But I was my Daddy’s little girl…. and if she wanted ballsy, well…lets go Mom.
So, I finally figured out that all these years she was using me as the one to always be on her side. I only knew the kind, generous, smart, spiritual woman I had grown to love thru losing my father. But I was so naive. Nobody is that perfect. But in my eyes she was. The mom who raised me was the absolute complete opposite of her. Mean, cold, greedy, narcissistic, etc…you get the point. So maybe that is why I was so in awe of Mom… I didn’t want to see the bad. But while she was showing me the “fake side”, she was being selfish and manipulative to the other side of the family.
When my family lost my brother and my nephew in a plane crash, Mom became her authentic self. She became a full time job for everyone. IT WAS ALL ABOUT HER. In hindsight I see this now. She didn’t care that my brother lost his only Son and brother. Or that my sister in law lost the love of her life and father of her children. Mom’s loss was all that mattered. And so we spent the next yrs dealing with her needs and her heath issues.
So, the year went on… and although there were some really great talks…and moments…there were some really bad ones too. Fights about money…she was basically giving it away to some leeches…another post for another day… But if I had to pick the best part of this past year I would say it was growing closer to my Brother and most importantly his wife. All these years and I had never really had a heart to heart with her or any sort of talk of any length. I knew she had to be a quality person because A, my brother picked her and B, her sons were amazing. Two of the kindest boys I had ever met and I knew that had to come from her as much as my brother.
I had always been a little nervous around my sister in law. To be honest…she intimidated me. So extremely intelligent and strong willed. But so am I, so I’m not sure where that fear came from. But thru visits at the hospital here and there I started to see her true self…she was a caretaker… I saw her take care of mom…feed her…. etc. I also so this tiny human command a presence like no other when the hospital was dragging their feet on things. She was a fighter… a Mom… a daughter…. a wife… and a damn smart woman. And she was most definitely in charge. I loved that about her. And also opinionated. That was something I also admired because she wasn’t scared to tell anyone what she felt or thought. #Goals
So when the night came that I got the phone call and my brother passed the phone to his wife I had no idea what she was going to say…but she said “we are going to pay off all your debt. ALL OF IT. Cars and all.” And she talked to me about other stuff that I will keep to myself but in that instance I knew!! wow…once again you have wasted time. why have I wasted all this time not getting to know this woman? As I cried on the phone I felt such appreciation and love for this couple….I don’t think I can put into words how grateful I am for them both.
So, 2020 is my year. I am out of debt. I have a amazing husband…wonderful kids who are all in healthy relationships with amazing partners….we are planning a wedding for my daughter …not to mention that i have a great job and i am starting back to college in a couple of weeks.
I am saying goodbye to 2019 and I am letting go of any anger or resentment I had towards Mom because I know she loved me and I know she knows I loved her. She had flaws…we all do. But she was a wonderful role model to me for most of my life. She helped me when no one else would. And I can honestly say I am a better wife because of her. She would always tell me or suggest to me that spending time with my hubby should always be my number 1 priority. And this year that is my number 1 goal.
I have hope… I have a future to look forward too. All thanks to Mom and this amazing family she made me a part of. Family is not always who your stuck with or born into…sometimes, it’s who you choose. And I choose the Ewing Family Always.