Mom is a retired nurse. Scratch that – she’s a perpetual nurse; just come over when you’re sick to have it proven. I admire the way she always knew what she wanted to be, worked for it, and then became it.
She says that she wanted to be married to a farmer and have a dozen kids. I suspect that desire may be a wistful development long after a contrary life was cemented for her. Yet, she was pretty successful with her Plan B.
Divorced when I was a baby, she became a single mother of two. By chance, she had been raised by a twice-divorced, single mother of three. (This independence thing isn’t difficult to trace . . .)
Since retirement, Mom’s become pretty reclusive. Physical limitations are a big part of this, but I’d say (and she would deny) that it’s largely by choice, too. She’s always had a rebellious, anti-social streak.
Living with me will be a big change for Mom, too. She does what she wants. More accurately, she doesn’t do what she doesn’t want. She lets her dog walk on the table and lick her ice cream cones. She stays in her nightgown all day. She says, “Leave me the hell alone!” when she’s tired of my company.
A few years ago, Mom broke her foot. She needed help. She wanted help. My sister and I both asked her to move to our homes, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She did pretty well with facing with the emotional aspect of needing help, but had no intention of making any changes to her life to get it. Crazy, but I understand. It’s your house, your routine, your schedule, your stuff, your decisions. Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it will work for you emotionally.
Now, after a stroke last month, she’s comfortable saying that she’ll move in with me “for a while.”
I’m comfortable with that, too.