My mother, relatively healthy at 88, except for A-Fib, under control, seems to be struggling with husband (our dads passing, of April2018.) While he was struggling with his declining congestive heart failure, she was openly annoyed and at times outwardly intolerant of his failing health. He was a large man, not overweight, at 230 lbs, and she at 120, was not able to assist him. Mother also was resistant to getting in any outside help, but eventually had to on a partial nature, but unhappy at doing so. Her frequent comment was,” I have been dealing with this my whole life, your father has always been a hypochondriac, etc.(perhaps that is easy to say? If one is basically healthy, her entire life, as my mom has been) The idea of any outside help entering her home was a no no. I also should mention that that would apply to perhaps her own 4 grown adult daughters as well, (all in our 50s & 60s) as being in her home. When she was not there (but Dad was) we all never had a key, even for an emerg.) Our father sought harmony, closeness and love, esp. in his last 2 yrs. All prior disagreements dad had seemed to be forgiven, as at the end he began to realize what valued most.
Our mother is not touchy freely per say, and that my dad so missed and often was in need of. One sibling commented, ”Dad has spoiled mom, during their 65 yrs of marriage.” They started out simple, & somewhat poor, but his entrepreneurial skills after decades of work changed that. All that was obtained they kept, as in general felt no one was quite deserving, nor is. (Sharing what they have earned, etc.is their choice, 100%, in the last 3 yrs Dad was rethinking their, his choices, but mom, was steadfast, as in our children do not deserve ...it often felt like any behaviors we had, or have were never worthy. My attitude is, and gift, any amt. any thing passed on is an indiv. choice,but it must be a “free choice”, and upon giving no expectations should be part of any gift, or $$, as then in truth, it was not a gift, but something that was passed on and had instructions, (I call conditions. Children are not possessions, nor should any parent have control or want to...a lifelong issue in our family, in the worthy dept. as quote “not one of us is worthy nor deserves what a parent has accumulated, as that is theirs to ....). What was/is theirs was not to be shared,by choice. (and when I heard the word “we should give it all to charity” often, I 100% supported that, but would hear in reply, ”if you give to a charity, that means strangers will get it and...”
Now my mother has all this stuff, and is financially secure and will be for life, thank goodness, as in housing her needs etc. But her sudden post loss, of “oh how I miss him,etc.” I am emphatic towards, but remain conflicted at within.....for, when he was sick, the last time, and in the local hospital, 4 days passed without a visit, or call from his wife, our mom. When he called 2 days before his passing and asked, mom, why she had not visited or called her terse reply was “well I am talking to you now.” As she repeated to me those exact words. His needs, were interrupting her life, a bit too much, and she her whole life had done enough. Ironically during my last visit, 5 days before he passed, he never looked better, wanted to come home very much, but also commented to me, emphatically (& this was a first,) ”I do not want to be around your mother” and “nowhere near her” quote. I understood his words, as it had gotten to the point, where she was getting annoyed at his needed care (which meant, preparing 3 small meals) but also limited her activity, leaving the home. Having to partially depend on others, professional & physically strong home health aide workers, was done with obvious resentment, and annoyance.
My father rarely if ever said no to my mother. If there was anything she ever needed or wanted, he would do it, suggest it, or make it happen. Now he is gone, and her aloneness puzzles me, (us) All the man ever sought, was love, a hug, compliments, physical affection (they had not slept in the same room for 30 years, and once were separated for 10) but a hug from mom, meant the world to him, and that he had come used to, but never gave up trying to somehow win her over get a bit of emotional time a hug or lets just talk, laugh, watch a funny movie, Etc. It saddens me, (us, 4 of 7 alive adult children) as to ponder what was it all for?? What is life about? And for any of us it is not about stuff, things, money, etc. We were 5 years ago all surprised via my fathers choice, our first new cars ever....and we were thrilled...but all I, and we have heard since from my mother is how she regrets he did that, and spent his money on children who are unappreciative, etc. and that saddens me. Our father had come to a consensus within, I believe asking, ”what’s this life about, and all these things and money if not shared”. My mother claims she has always been fiercely independent & strong, (quote) But is that not so hard, when you have never had a financial worry, & 100% unconditional luv. Uncond love, for me remains foreign? Help