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.

5 Thoughts on “Addendum to “A No-Win Situation””

  • How wonderful that your Mom and Bebe found each other!!! Your “never give up” attitude in helping your Mother is Fantastic!!! Kudos to you! And your Mother! She hasn’t lost her spirit that’s obvious in her declaration about Bebe name. Many people told me that as long as my Mom was still feisty she was doing okay.

    • Yes, Julie, you’re right. She’s a fighter. I worry when she loses her spirit some days, but I think Bebe is helping keep those spirits up. The kitty gives her something to worry about instead of herself. Today I had to go to the pet store and buy new cat food because Bebe wasn’t doing well. That is so like Mom, to “mother” everyone she can: human, canine, feline, doesn’t matter!

  • Thank you for this, Sally….am inspired by you and your mom’s love journey-
    “For even as love crowns you , so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth, so is he for your
    pruning. ” K. Gibran
    Overjoyed that she has a companion to provide comfort and delight-24/7! Kitties can be so disarming (and charming)

  • Sally-how I enjoy your wisdom and candor. My wish is that I could find it within myself to practice what you preach w/my own mother.

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