As I read over my last blog, The Only Way Out of a No-Win Situation, I sensed victim mentality rearing its ugly head through much of the writing. Thank heaven I ended with the only viable alternative, love. Little did I know at the time how great a role love would play in improving our situation, both from me and some help from an unexpected source.
Even though she and I have traded places, I am now essentially mother to the woman who raised me, Mom continues to show me life lessons. Could that be one of the reasons she is still here? I complain of her irascible behavior, yet I am the one who is learning I need to change!
I have known for a long time, and for some reason must be continually reminded, that I can’t change her behavior so I need to change mine. In spite of the no-win mentality I was wrapped within, I started to make an even more concerted effort to show her love. One idea was to find her a little love. That love came in a most tangible manifestation…a pet.
Mom had lost her beloved Yorkie, Lady, nine months ago and she had nothing to fill the void. It is one thing to love a daughter who can’t come over as much as you would like, and quite another to have a constant companion. Lady seemed to understand just about everything Mom communicated to her. Without a focus, something to fuss over and care for, Mom was in need, and I couldn’t fill that role for her. She needed something by her side day and night. We finally found a little being who took on that job.
After multiple trips to the county animal shelter, the humane society, a cat rescue organization and several phone calls to other organizations, we finally found a cat that seemed content to sit on Mom’s lap. That was the first criteria. Her name was Bessie, since she was black and white. Mom decided right away she was not to have a cow’s name. Mom liked actress Bebe Neuwirth so Bebe it was.
Turns out both Mom and her new sidekick were hungry for love. Bebe was found abandoned in a trailer park and never felt comfortable with the hundred-plus cats roaming the rescue facility. Starved for attention, she was best-suited to a one-cat home, and Mom could provide both.
Months of unrelenting sadness, countless times asking why she couldn’t just die because she wasn’t doing anything worthwhile or making a contribution, ended when Bebe came to stay. Mom started to smile and laugh again, laugh at Bebe’s antics and her nuzzling displays of affection.
So, once again, love is the answer. Love conquers all. Mom is easier to get along with, easier to take on outings. Why do we continue to be surprised by love? As a race, we humans seem to need to learn this lesson over and over again. I’m glad I figured out, just in time, that it was my love that could provide a different kind of love to help make Mom’s final years more enjoyable.