I was relieved three times today...maybe four times, sorta.
First, we went to see The Little Mermaid last night and it has a short run, so I had to get the review in fairly early this morning. Normally I get a review started and then go to sleep and finish it in the morning. Last night I conked out before I had a chance to start writing it. But the strangest thing happened. It's never happened before. I woke up at 7 a.m., with the review written in my head!. The bulk of the review, other than the specifics I had to get from the program, was clear as a bell. All I needed to do was type it, clean it up a bit, add the names of who played what, and in no time I had sent it off to the paper. I don't expect this to ever happen again, but given that I was already behind when I went to sleep this was a great relief.
Next I went to Atria to deliver my mother's clean undies. She wasn't there when I first got there, so I left them on her bed and went looking for her. She was just finishing lunch, so I walked her back to her apartment, where we had a decent visit. I had to cut it kind of short because I had an appointment at 3, but I didn't leave there frustrated, like I so often do. That was a relief.
Then, remember when I wrote about my angst finding my favorite strawberry field gone? Well, I also mentioned it on Facebook and someone told me that it wasn't gone, it had just moved 200 yards east of where it once was, and that the original plot of land was going to be planted in almond trees (which are as abundant around here as vineyards are in the Napa Valley).
So I took the back road to the freeway and sure enough. I had to stop and take a photo.
The "Local Grown Fresh..." sign is where the old stand sat. And around it is all the dirt where there used to be blackberry vines. Behind me is all the dirt where there used to be strawberry fields.
BUT, that little white block up by the trees in back is the new stand. Right now it's not much and there isn't even a road to get to it, but it's there, so it will rise again...and I am very relieved.
But the biggest relief was yet to come. I've had such depression over my mother lately that I sometimes feel like I want to explode, I come home from Atria and all I can do for awhile is sit in a chair and stare off into space. I am remembering my father during his nervous breakdown, sitting in the living room, with all the lights off, the only thing was the red glow from the tip of his cigarette. He would sit there for hours. I think about that memory a lot these days, when I just can't find the energy to do anything because I feel so weighted down by concern for my mother and frustration over her worsening symptoms (even though by comparison to so many people dealing with dementia in loved ones, I have it so very easy).
So I finally made an appointment with the therapist I saw about a year ago, for a few months to discuss, among other things, my mother. She was the therapist I got by accident because the one I had my original appointment with had a conflict. But since I didn't know either of them, it made no difference to me who I saw.
It turned out to be the best "accident" because Deb is just perfect for me. She got me through the problems I had gone to see her about originally and today I discovered, as I talked, that intellectually I know all the right words and the right answers, but emotionally I needed help with how to continue to cope. What I needed was a safe place to explode and let it all out...and I did. And it felt good. There are no answers, of course. She made a couple of suggestions I will follow up on, but she told me what I needed to hear, which was given my mother's robust physical health we are possibly looking at several more years of dealing with her dementia and she may well live past 100.
(I showed her the before and after picture of my mother's visit with her old beautician and the difference in her caused Deb to give a surprised gasp)
I didn't make a return appointment because nothing is going to change between now and a few weeks from now and I felt so much better just having had the chance to let it all out and get feedback from her. I told her I wished I were in worse shape because I enjoy her company and would like to come back again, but can't justify making another appointment. She gave me a big hug and her phone number and said to call anytime if I need to explode again. I may do that, but for right now, I'm feeling like a huge load has been lifted from my solar plexus and I can pick up and go back to Atria with renewed strength to face the next chapter.