Wisdom of the Ages

I could probably look this up, but does Wisdom of the Ages refer to a collective wisdom we as a species gather and grow as we evolve (current political evidence to the contrary), or does it mean that as we individually age we, if lucky, grow into wisdom as we jettison tightly held, or long taught beliefs that served, perhaps, only to comfort us during tumultuous times? Do we learn to think for ourselves, find our own true internal voices, with the grace of experience and God, the loss of our parents and teachers, and a lot of help from our friends?

So many profound thoughts and notions swim through my head these last three days as we camp in our go-to State Park. It’s the first time in five months I’ve been able to be still, mind, body, or soul. This trip coincides with my nurse kiddo’s vacation, and she, knowing I’d worry excessively about mom, asked two of her colleagues to ping me with updates on mom. So far, so good. Mom is doing just fine in our collective absence. I am still so traumatized by my last encounter with mom, that I don’t plan on seeing her until my return from a trip to the Island, the week of the 12th. I need this break, and I need to be OK about it, and not steep in a pot of guilt.

Four years ago my mother’s Island doctor advised me that my relationship with my mother must be preserved at all costs. As I feel cracks forming in our relationship, I now understand the gravity of his advice. Mom is now at a cognitive impasse where I cannot allow her to do what she wants; I have to be the tough-love daughter who tries to unravel her determined and erratic confabulations in order to keep her safe, EVEN when she ends up furious with me. The alternative is unthinkable.

Today while walking the beach, a sense welled up within me of the impermanent state of our relationships to others, as profound life changes occur. My relationship with my mom is 54 years strong. Her relationship with me, I think, has changed and morphed more than mine has with her. She’s watched me grow from helpless babe, to a mother, grandmother, and now to someone who she perceives as a roadblock to her being able to return to her home. From my end, she has gone from cherished mom, to teen rule-keeper, to advisor & friend (a normal progression), to someone I had to suddenly build a protectorate around.

The shift from ‘friend and advisor’ to ‘incapable of managing her life’ was swift, and, yes, I didn’t recognize lots of the signs while being madly concerned about others. I mourn this change in our relationship. She is always trying to ‘break out’ and I am always trying to ‘redirect and remind.’  No matter what we do together, there’s always gonna be a negative barb inserted at some, if not many, points. Mom will Never understand why she can’t return home. This disease renders her incapable  of understanding that there’s anything wrong. She will never be at peace with this, and therefore we need to continue with gentle deception. I love my mother, and neither of us deserve being in this eddy.

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