We had a busy day out today. The kids were with our very occasional nanny, and Geoff and I ran errands all morning and mid-afternoon I visited Mum on the way home. In the morning I'd been telling Geoff about how I'm having anxiety dreams every night, about Mum. Before she was in a nursing home I was paralysed with fear that she's hurt herself or others when I wasn't able to be there to stop it. Now that she's in, and I know she's relatively safe, but she's unhappy, incoherently unhappy, and there have been medication screw ups (giving her her sleeping meds in the morning!) and she is spending her days walking, or trying to run, up and down the hallways.
She's falling sometimes, because her balance is going, and she is moving bent over and shaking. And now when I try to sleep my head is full of the image of my mother trying to run, trying to get out, worried and trapped and unable to say what she wants. And her condition isn't my fault, and the progression of the illness isn't my fault, but I am still aware, almost always, that she is there and seeking an exit, over and over, like a fly in a jar, unable to stop. And I can't help her except to go and hold her hand and tell her, over and over, that everything will be all right, that the kids and I are fine, that she is loved. And that sounds lovely and deeply caring, but I ache to be able to break in and give her real reassurance, to really make things better, and to do more than half an hour of walking and holding her hand. And I pray for her and hold her anguish in my heart.