Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Worry, worry, worry....hot flashes and indigestion, you'd think I have teenagers

For the third night in a row, I woke up about 4am and just could not return to sleep.    My mind races. I wake up with all sorts of worries on my mind; here are a few
  • paying for Mom's needs/comfort as her funds run low and I have no job
  • paying off the debt I've incurred for Mom's comfort over the past 6 months
  • how she'll get in/out of her room now that she's wheel chair bound
  • upkeep of her little old house and yard now that it's temporarily occupied by my brother
  • property taxes for her house
I've always considered myself a worry-wort but until now I was able to handle it.  I tackled stressful things by DOING something - I'd make a plan to fix the matter or I'd make something to take my mind off it.  Those approaches just aren't working this time because there is little that I can do for Mom other than BE there. Being there is difficult because I've established my life in a different location.  Jobs in the region where she lives are scarce .  I worry most about paying for everything but the bigger concern for me is keeping my MOM from worry.   I don't want her to go without the basics, especially things like new socks, undies, warm slippers or hair cuts.   I want her to always have her favorite cookies on hand because it's a simple indulgence that will enhance her quality of life and make her feel at home.

Getting all worked up at my age means two things - hot flashes and / or indigestion.   So far the hot flashes pass quickly but the indigestion lingers and fails to respond to anything like tums, milk or water.   I've remember my Dad going through the same thing.  I'd wake up in the night and hear tinkling glasses in the kitchen; he was after milk or tums to kill his heartburn.  He'd lay awake at night and fret over work issues, adult kids and their kids, things he had to fix around our home or his parents or in-laws.   Friends tell me their worries about (and FOR) their teenagers and young adult kids - paying for college, helping with first cars, recovering from illnesses or surgery.   It's all part of being human I guess... we want good things for those we love; being unable to help them get it is painful.  I feel the need for the old prayer:
Lord, grant me the ability to change the things I can, 
the strength to endure the things I can't
and the wisdom to know the difference. 
My parents quoted this often in various forms.  Dad worried in silence and told the rest of us NOT to worry.  Mom worried out loud and worked at fixing things but she always slept well and never needed tums.    I am trying  to follow her example but my nature is more like my Dad.  I'd better stock up on the Tums...