I Woke Up on Easter

I woke up on Easter yesterday feeling depressed. This is not unusual for a person with bipolar disorder but it is somewhat unusual for me – my go to emotion is anxiety that may be caused by simultaneous lows and highs. But this was all lows. What was bothering me was that me and my teenage daughter were planning to do a social distancing grocery drop at my 83 year old mother’s condo. She is a widow and lives alone. There has been a no visitor in and no person out mandate in place for several weeks. I know she has been feeling very isolated because of covid-19 (we talk on the phone twice a day) and has had very little actual face-to-face time. As a daughter I feel guilty about not having made social distance grocery drops on a weekly basis prior to this time but I have had low white blood cell counts because of the meds I take. So it has been important for me to shelter in place as much as possible with a compromised immune system. I don’t have any real message behind this post except to say I think it made my Mom’s day for us to visit and chat outside for a half hour at the social distancing space despite the fact that I had reservations/depressed feelings about going. I guess I pushed through the depression to the other side so to speak. But I still worry about things like her contracting the illness and not being able to be there for her. I feel like I need(ed) to put my immune system first but I also feel guilty for not doing more for my Mom.

Does anybody else have a story of how they have stayed connected with an elderly parent through all this? Or even before this all occurred?

5 thoughts on “I Woke Up on Easter

  1. Ashley makes a good point. I imagine your mother would be heart sick if you got sick on her behalf.

    That said I do understand on some level. I’m sorry about your feeling low, that sucks for sure. My mother is in her 60s and healthy as far as I am aware but I still worry about her. As a practicing Christian Easter holiday is a big deal for her. Normally my sister, niece, mom and I go to some Easter brunch or my mom cooks and we hang at her place. These are the things she loves to do. So not only could she not attend church (though she did get to virtually, in a sense) but she couldn’t cook for us or eat with us or even hug us.

    I think my sister and I were dealing with our own struggles of just what we even SHOULD do. Near the end of the day my mother was set and determined (she is a lovely, stubborn woman) to drop off Easter “goody” bags and had made chicken pot pie for me (I didn’t ask). (And she loves to cook and bake. Don’t SUGGEST anything if you don’t want her to make it then one way or another and insist you take it. Which you have to now that she’s made it right?) We gave in to a drop off BUT did so under social distancing guidelines.

    Up until those moments, standing more than 12 feet from my family members, I had underestimated just how much it would mean to me. I knew my mother was a little stir-crazy but even then I felt guilty, like maybe we hadn’t done enough to be there for her. I think we did the best thing in the end, not the come over but stay on the porch and eat that mom wanted, but it was nice. We text and call regularly but seeing their faces struck a chord. That little moment, maybe for you too, like saying hey, I’m still here even if I’m WAY OVER THERE, was good. But risky, so not something we’ll do much. Although I have told my mother time and again that we will go to the store for her.

    I still think we need to protect ourselves and stay apart more often than not. I don’t think meeting up for regular socially distant visits (as some apparently do) is a good idea. For one the risk is still there, limit exposure. And furthermore when other people see it happening they think they should too. But there’s also the risk of allowing our own selves to become more relaxed.

    I’m not perfect nor am I an expert. I was reticent to share this because I don’t want to say hey what a great idea, if you stay really far away, wear a mask (as I did), and just keep it short. But you asked if anyone had a story so, you got one! But yeah, don’t feel guilty for protecting yourself and staying safe. That’s what we all want our loved ones to do. I can handle not being together if it means spending the rest of our lives together. And besides, there are a million ways to show people we love them. My time yesterday told me I should try these other things, like send her a card or more pictures and messages. My mom likes to know what we’re doing. She sends pics of what she’s doing or eating, maybe I’ll engage in this more. Does your mom use a smartphone?

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    1. Thanks for this. Yes my Mom has a cell phone – she is 83 and does not always know how to deal with technology. My sister is trying to help her Zoom her bookclub and other friends. I am trying to make the most of a phone call or two to my Mom every day. There is seldom new news but we find things to chat about. Yesterday her Cuisinart broke and she wasn’t sure what to do. I helped her by phone get to Amazon to order a new one since she too likes to cook. It feels like continuing to do these things over the phone is helpful to both of us. Thanks again for your story.

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      1. I know technology does not have the same appeal to some older folks. My Grandpa is 100 and apparently has a cell phone but he won’t use it. Meanwhile the rest of us can’t live without them! Lol. Good for you and your sister for helping her. I hope she has fun once she figures out how to Zoom her bookclub! That sounds wonderful to bond on that level, even if over the phone, you trading places and helping her, guiding her now. šŸ˜€

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  2. Lord I wrote a post as a comment just about! I apologize for taking up so much time and space but I’m also happy to share. Just ya know, had to say that. šŸ˜‰

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