Bring on the new year

Published 11:26 pm Monday, January 5, 2009

By Staff
When I consider all I've witnessed in 2008, I'm really happy about the coming of 2009.
Things have happened in 2008 that I never imagined. Some good, some not so good. At any rate, they happened and I am a different person now because some of those things happened.
I probably knew the time was coming, but in May a job I didn't want dropped into my lap.
My mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and/or dementia, had gotten to the point that I no longer felt comfortable leaving her alone for any length of time. I won't go into details on what happened in May to cause me to make a move for her, but I can tell you it was no picnic.
Throughout the month of May I pretty much cried - almost daily because my mother was now a resident in a long-term nursing facility.
The move was hard on her, but in retrospect, I think it was tougher on me. She quickly became comfortable in her surroundings and was perfectly content to be where she was.
Her mental state, even with the disease, was much better than mine. I cried, I worried and felt guilty about not being able to care for her at home any longer.
As the months have passed, I have come to realize it was one of the better things I could have done for my mother.
When she was living with me, she was alone most of the time. She had long stopped driving, and, of course, not many people dropped by to visit.
Now that she has found her place, she seems quite happy. Her happiness has relieved me of some guilt. When I see she has been involved in a number of activities at the center, I'm happy to know that she has made some friends and has something to occupy her time throughout the day. It makes my weekend visits with her more enjoyable for both of us. She has stories to tell and I have a more content mother.
I guess I can look at this time in my life and the life of my mother as good and bad.
I'd love to have her home with me. However, I have to work and she would be left alone for many hours every day. I'm more satisfied now that the move is good for both of us - more for her than for me - but her comfort and happiness gives me comfort and happiness, too.
As I look ahead to 2009, I realize there may be some difficult times to come. With economic conditions not looking so hot at this point, a few extra meals of beans and rice and rice and beans may be on my family menu for the coming year.
I also realize there may be many good times in the coming year as well. My husband and I will celebrate our silver wedding anniversary in March, and we have a humdinger of a celebration planned for that event.
My son will graduate from elementary school and become a middle school student in 2009. That, of course, also has some good and bad feelings coming.
So other than hosting a couple of birthday parties, visiting my mother, celebrating a special anniversary and crying over my son's growing up, I don't have much planned for the year.
I've decided things come and go no matter how well you plan. Good things will certainly happen and I will no doubt experience heartache in 2009.
Either way, I'm ready. Bring it on!
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.