Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What do I want?

Mike asked me what I want for my birthday. You'd think that would be an easy question for me to answer. It always has been - scrapbooking stuff, gift cards for scrapbooking stuff, kitchen ware. This year, what I really want I can't have which is probably why I am having such a hard time coming up with ideas. I want 2 things, neither of which are going to come to fruition; I understand that and I accept it but it doesn't stop me from wanting them.
The first thing I want is to go on a trip with my mom the way she was before the surgery. Whenever I think of my mom, it's always either Before Surgery or After Surgery; that one day is the dividing line in her life and my thoughts of her. I wish so much we could just go back and say "You know, maybe we should see what other options there are besides surgery." We knew about the chance that she may not make it physically back from the surgery, that there's always the chance of death but no one warned us that she may not make it back mentally, about the dangers of anesthesia with the elderly. Since this surgery, I've talked to many other people who were likewise unaware of the mental devestation that can follow anesthesia.

About 8 years ago, I went to Nashville with my mom. We had a great time and I treasure those memories. After that, she wanted to go to Natchez, Mississippi. She had gone with ElderHostel but she wanted to go with me and I put her off. No time, no money, too busy. I feel so badly about that. If there'd been some way to know what would happen after the surgery and I knew that she would have the surgery regardless of what we said, I would have gone away with her for a few days like she wanted and just charged part if I had to; it would have been worth it. Unfortunately, I don't possess a crystal ball or any form of clairvoyance so that trip never happened. I'm usually okay with this; I don't fall apart like I did right after the surgery but every once in a while it hits me. I hear of a restaurant I think she'd like and think "We have to go there." but then I have to factor in things like how far is it, how long it would take to get there and would she be likely to start sundowning while we were out. I see a brochure for a museum or historic site and think "She'd love that." and then remember that there's no way she could handle the physical requirements to get around it (her medications make her very uncoordinated) and whether she'd love it or not would depend on her mood at that moment (her moods fluctuate significantly and quickly).

The second thing I want is something I've wanted for a long time but watching my mom go downhill so quickly has made me want it even more. I want the whole family to go on vacation together. Preferably a cruise or something like that where people can spend time together but don't have to spend every second together and where's there's something for everyone. I want the family to spend time together while we're all still here and able to; I want to build those memories for when people aren't here; I want my children to have memories to look back on with their grandparents. Jason remembers going to WDW with Ruth and Jen. He remembers going to NH with them as well and he has said he wishes we'd go somewhere again. Jess doesn't have those memories. Jason is getting older and spends more time with his friends and away from his family. That's normal; that's growing up. But, I'd like to capture a few more moments where it's family time (extended included) before its too late. But, like with my mom, I do accept that a big family vacation with everyone is not going to happen but it doesn't stop me from wanting it. Guess I should go think of some things that I want that are realistic or I'm going to end up with a Home Dept gift card (so Mike tells me).

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