Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Georgia on My Mind

This song has been playing in my head so much the last few days.  Since I moved to San Francisco over 33 years ago, I have not spent so much time in my homeland, as I have in the last six months. I was there in September for two weeks and I was there for a month from the middle of October to shortly before Thanksgiving to try to get some things squared away for my ailing mother.  At that visit, I was able to get meals on wheels started for her and I got her to the doctor and she, at least, consented to restart her medication for hypertension.  She absolutely refused to go into assisted living which my brother and I wanted since she is legally blind from macular degeneration.  Her argument was that she knows every inch of the duplex in which she has lived for over fifteen years and she feels comfortable there. 

My brother and his wife, have, just recently, sold their Florida home and, thankfully, have moved back to the Atlanta area so they are, at least, only a three hour drive from my mother.  They would like her to go into assisted living in an area near them. They cannot have her live with them for various reasons.  That is what I am hoping to accomplish this trip but it will be a battle.  There is no question that my mother is becoming increasing confused.  She just celebrated her 86th birthday on the 30th of January.

I fly out of San Francisco at 7:30AM on February 17th and return on March 10th.  I will try to keep up with my blog and following yours and commenting as much as I possibly can, whenever I can.  Please bear with me as I know you will.  I'll miss you all, that's for sure and I could sure use prayers, on my behalf and on my mother's, to whatever deities you worship.


  1. Carmen, have a safe and wonderful trip. I'll keep you and your mom in my prayer. Take care.

  2. 86. Wow. And stubborn as all get-out. I like that, even though that makes it harder for you. Be witness to her. Hold each other's hands. And be that kind of tender, too. I hope it all works out for everyone, a compromise that balms the pain. Be well.

  3. You certainly have my best wishes and prayers. Life does seem to enter into this stage for most of us. My Mom lived in an excellent assisted living facility for several years after Dad died. My brother and I appreciated all the good care she received. She hated it..maybe because she wanted her old life back? Could be we'll all be that way.

  4. I have not traveled much. But I've been to Georgia...Marietta to be precise. It was lovely there :)

    Hope your mom cooperates for your peace of mind and her safety but I know how stubborn folks can be :)


  5. Hey! So nice to "meet" you. Thanks so much for the kind comments on my blog yesterday.
    I live in Hampton, GA and work in Stockbridge, but I do know where Columbus is! I hope you enjoy your trip here and I hope things go well with your mother. I used to work at an Assisted Living community in Savannah so I understand the reluctance many people have about going into a strange environment. My prayers are with you both!

    Safe travels,

  6. I so hope that things go well with your visit. I know how tuff that can be. all the best to you and your family. Enjoy the time with your Mom. Take care.

  7. So you're flying today, Carmen! I feel bad for not having visited your blog earlier. I hope the trip was fine and I wish you all the best in Georgia. Thank you for the song, I enjoy it very much from the distance!

  8. OH, I love that song. I taught in Thomasville for a few years, enjoyed the Ante-Bellum Mansion that was our campus. Do take lots of pictures and enjoy your visit.

  9. good luck my friend

  10. It is always a worry when an elderly parent is living alone, especially when getting confused.
    Hope she can find somewhere suitable.
    See you in Blogland when you get back. We all understand.

    Nuts in May

  11. We'll surely miss you but wish you a safe trip. Best wishes to your mom.

    Could you send me a Georgia Margiedale? I don't have one of those.

  12. Anonymous5:56 PM

    With about 3,000 miles between here and home,this entry was for sure of interest to read, also with regard to not having seen family for about half a year, and last but not least, haven't been able to meet my "father" in three decades...thoughts, thank you for that.
    Also about a decade since last I did hear Willie Nelson, a warm thank you for that as well.
    Wishing you all the strength possible and a nice Thursday as well.

  13. San Fran and Atlanta...two of my fave places.

    I think I've mentioned having lived just north of SF years ago?? I so love it there!!

  14. Icy BC -
    The flight over wasn't too bad - got upgraded to first class so, after two bloody marys and a nice breakfast, I slept all the way. Had a two hour shuttle drive to Columbus. At my mother's, sad, sad, sad. She is just a shell of the person I knew. Is so confused, didn't know me at all.

    Woman in a Window -
    This is so much harder than I imagined. Mother doesn't even know who I am. She rambles in totally incoherent sentence most of the time. This morning, she woke up and said to me, "Let's go home." Bless her heart. We do have a doctor's appt. tomorrow.

    Maggie May -
    I keep thinking that I am 65 and worry that I might be like my mother in just 20 years. That scares me so much. I don't want my sons to have to deal with this. I think part of her confusion has been accelerated by her loss of vision due to the macular degeneration.

    Margie -
    It's cold here in GA so no margiedales are out with their shirts off cutting grass or showing off their pecs.
    ρομπερτ -
    Are you a Willie Nelson fan? I've seen a lot of the country greats in person but, somehow, I missed him. I love him, though, and, of course, he is so popular in Georgia. I've been with my mom less than 24 hours and am so saddened to see how much she has deteriorated since my Nov visit. She has to be placed somewhere before I leave. I think the doctor, when we see him tomorrow, will say she needs to be conserved so we can make decisions even if she doesn't want us to do so.

    Bits-n-Pieces -
    Where do you live now? And do you ever get back to San Francisco? I'd love to get together when you do!

    Lyn -
    At this point, I don't even think my mom will know where she is. Bless the dear lady who used to come in weekly to do grocery shopping for my mom. She has been dropping by several time weekly just to check on her and to spend time with her....she's 75 herself. Tuesday, June was here and cleaned the apartment from stem to stern. It looks wonderful.

    Breeze -
    I have a good friend I've known over fifty years who lives in Marietta. It is really a lovely area. I had hoped to share some of your poems with my mom while I was here...she is the one who always loved poetry and encouraged my writing. She is far beyond any of that now, sadly.

    Jen Chandler -
    Nice to meet another person from my home state.
    I love the Savannah area but haven't been there in so many years. I hope I can find someplace for my mom near my brother's in north Atlanta. It is clear to me she can no longer remain alone.

    cinner -
    I appreciate the good wishes. It helps to have friends and their support.

    fullet -
    I've been missing you, my friend! Had a good flight - first class upgrade but nothing can compare to the business class flight on KLM in October to Rome with those seats that reclined all the way back and the meal and wines on that.
    Things are not so good with my mother. I am overwhelmed to see her like this. She did not even know me for the first few hours and she is unable to really converse at all. We see the doctor tomorrow. I hope he will order a CT scan and a neuro consult.

    lakeviewer -
    Wow, you sure get around - Thomasville! You really were south! Columbus has a few beautiful antebellum homes as well. I should drive around and take some pictures of them.

    Dulce -
    I will definitely need luck and more. Things are not good with my mother and it feels so overwhelming.