The Line

Where is the line? That one that we as humans can’t see. We don’t know if we’re coming up on it, or, oops, it’s already behind us. We don’t know where to draw the line. We don’t know when we’ve crossed the line, unless it’s pointed out to us. That damn line, where is it?
My mother is not living with the quality of conditions that I would choose for her. However, she is living her choice, in her own home. She would be mortified if she knew I was writing this. She didn’t even want me telling the neighbor (who wondered at the reason for my long visit) that her 95th birthday was coming up. “They can just guess!” she said. Gosh – I am proud that my mother has lived so long.
Mom is totally with-it for a person of 95. She sleeps quite often, but plays cards and wins as often as not, reads, does puzzles, and has a ‘sharp’ opinion on the outside world. (That last one will make my kids laugh.)
I would like to bring in outside help for cooking, cleaning, helping her bathe, that sort of thing. No way. They are dead-set against that. My sister is physically encumbered, so at this point the house does not get cleaned anywhere close to the standard I grew up with. It is heartbreaking to see a home change, a home that was once so neat and prim and comfortable. And yet, that line.
I respect my mother’s wishes. I want my own wishes to be respected. Her house has evolved in a way not unlike my own face and body have changed in the past sixty years. Mom is in her comfort zone, and I truly have learned the meaning and importance of one’s comfort zone.
And so, I drop hints. I plant seeds about the value of help, and the good organizations out there who provide such help. I don’t know what else to do, and that does not sit well with my ‘make it happen’ personality, but that is my problem, not my mother’s. That line.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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