The patience factor is extremely high when it comes to caring for a parent. When my kids were young and I was seen around town taking all 6 of them shopping or to functions all by myself (my husband being a dairy farmer wasn't often available for during the day activities) observers would automatically assume that I had far more patience than the average mom. After all why else would I be able to cart all these kids round and keep order without seeming to lose my sanity? Little did those onlookers know that sanity is one of the things a mother checks at the door of the labor and delivery suite when she has her first child. But I digress.
Patience is not something that I possess in abundance. I don't even have a little bit of it. Humor, scads, patience, not a wit! The key to raising all those kids was to keep in mind that they were learning, little by little, what was expected of them. Lessons are never learned on the first try so it was easy to try again the next day, and the next, and so on until they left home. Caring for a parent is a whole different ball of wax!
Everyday I have a new mantra as a I care for my mother; she has no clue! Wipe away from your mind any memories of the fastidious, controlled, and proper woman that raised you I keep telling myself. She's gone somewhere into the mist. What has been left is a woman who doesn't know the rules of common sense, isn't going to learn them, and doesn't give a hoot.
Before I go any further, while this may sound sad, and in a way it is, sad is not what I am. Amused, yes, fascinated, you bet, but sad not really. Everyday I wake with the remembrance that biology is doing its darndest to cheat my mother of everything that she was and I am here to make that journey as easy and pleasant as possible.
So when she goes through a roll of toilet paper a day just because she can and every box of tissues in the house have to be put up high so that they are available if you have a legitimate need I just remind myself that the lessons are there for me to learn and God gave her to me to be the teacher. Only this time there will be no more spankings with a wooden spoon and she can't ground me for minor infractions.
Today I am refusing to be depressed because we have to "mom proof" the house for her own good and once again all of her underthings have to be washed because she feels the need to wear them all at once I will spend the day thanking God for washers and dryers. I think that I need to get out my volumes about Mother Theresa and reread them and remember that though my mother is not materially poor, in her present state she might be considered one of "the poorest of the poor."