(I started writing this before Uncle's funeral.)
I've been struggling.
Mom and I have been fighting.
I moved here to take care of things for her and Dad. I did not move here to watch her keep working herself to death. I came here to encourage her to take care of her health, resting regularly according to the doctor's orders, and not doing dangerous things like cutting with sharp knives (she has no feeling in her left hand/arm/side/leg) or bending over to pick things up from the floor (her balance has never recovered since the stroke). She was even talking the other day about wanting to iron! Mom! You can't do that!
But it seems the more I try to get her to do what's good for her, the more she fights me. We're both stubborn. We're both argumentative. We're both hard-headed. Where'd ya think I got it from?
A woman at my church works in the Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home, so I wrote her an email on Saturday when we were at our worst. "How do you get a stroke patient to stop working and take care of herself? I came here to help extend her life, not watch her work herself to death."
Her answer: You don't.
But, she did have some good ideas. She suggested saying things like, "Mom, do you want to come have a cup of tea with me?" and sit down with her. "Mom, can you look at something with me?" and sit down with her. In other words, don't tell her she needs to rest, but that I need her for something.
She also reminded me that nothing I can do, nothing Mom can do, can add an hour to her life. She will live as long as God wants her to. No more and no less.
It's amazing how freeing it is to bask in the light of God's sovereignty.
And now, I intend to enjoy the last weeks/months/years I have with my parents.