Posted by: chlost | March 13, 2010

Trying to help

I am at my mother’s home right now.  My sister and I have been here for a few days, and I will be here until Monday. We have been going through my sister Kathleen’s clothes, jewelry and other items to help out my brother-in-law.  It has been hard.

My sister always dressed very nicely.  She had flair.  Nothing especially expensive or flashy.  But always nice.  She loved to shop, and found most of her clothes on the bargain racks.  My brother-in-law is actually proud of that and told us several times that she never paid full price for the items.

Kathleen always felt it was her responsiblity to dress me.  I don’t have flair.  I never look all that great in my clothes.  She was always looking for things for me, and would send them to me for gifts.   My sister and I kept looking at her clothes, and would remember when she wore them, when she bought them, or some other memory around her clothes.  My brother-in-law sat in the room watching and listening to us.  He seemed to almost enjoy it-not exactly enjoy, but was perhaps involved, in memories as well.  He didn’t share his.

As we sat on the side of her bed, going through her closet, I couldn’t help picture what had happened as she died.  She had been resting on the bed.  She must have known that something was wrong, and tried to get the phone from the table, as it had been knocked over behind the table.  My brother-in-law hadn’t been able to find it when he tried to call 911.

So, she realized she was going to die.  That is almost the worst part of it all.  She knew and couldn’t get help.  I picture it.  I have the picture going through my head.  As I sat there looking at the floor, I could see where she would have been.  My brother-in-law has decided to get a new bed.  I think he is having trouble sleeping in it.  It is a king and he is going to use a queen.  It is probably too big to sleep in alone, even for a guy as big as him.  It is terrible. Horrible.  I can’t get it out of my mind.

My mother seems to blame my brother-in-law for not finding her sooner.  He had been tot he school to pick up my nephew.  He came home and started dinner, and checked some things on the computer.  He didn’t realize that she hadn’t come downstairs when she said she would.  So, he went up to find her and found her already in bad shape.  He tried, but couldn’t resuscitate her.  So, my mom thinks that he should have gone upstairs right away when he got home, and because he didn’t, she died.  I think she has a lot of anger toward him which is why I see her now pulling away from him.  she doesn’t want him to be very involved with her life, and she is not particularly interested in my nephew.  It is so obvious that my sister was the glue that held everything together.  It is starting to pull apart.

My sister and I are sleeping together on a pull out bed that is sagging in the middle, has virtually no mattress, and has bars that gouge out your hips.  My mother has her apartment thermostat set at 80 degrees.  It has been stressful, to say the least.   I just want everything to go away and go back to normal.  Not the new normal.  This sucks.

I feel as though whatever I do, I can’t help anything.  I need help, too.

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