Friday I spent visiting my mother. When I got ready to leave Friday night I realized it wasn't the thing to do so I spent the night. Good days and bad...and this one wasn't good. Mother would be the first to agree with me. Nearly-90 is a struggle for her and every now and then she just gets fed up with it and wants to throw in the towel. It's just not an easy time.
My strategy has always been to treat mother as I always have...with dignity and as if she were still 65. We go out to lunch, take a drive, or run a few errands. I don't think I realized how tired she gets. I feel like I am doing her a favor to keep our relationship as much like it has always been as possible. I think it would be doing her a disservice to behave as if she were an invalid. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I push too hard.
I left Saturday morning to drive home. Mother's 'caretaker' and friend was with her so I knew she was in good hands. My drive is about an hour and 15 minutes. After about 20 minutes, I told myself I needed a Coke to stay alert and focused. In the drive-through at MacDonalds I told myself I needed a hamburger too. It was too early to serve lunch so I settled for an Apple Pie. I have not eaten an Apple Pie from MacDonalds in years. I don't eat fast food!!! But this day, I ate two pies! I don't know why they put two in the bag but since they did, I just ate them both!
I've started doing this fast food snacking on my weekly trips down and back. I always have an excuse. Sometimes I'm sleepy, sometimes bored...or so I tell myself.
What I realized, however, is that this has become a way that I comfort myself. I was no more hungry when I ate the first apple pie than the man in the moon. The second one??? Please. What are you thinking!?!
It's just what people mean by comfort food. When you feel stressed you probably reach for something. Do you? Maybe it's unwanted and unneeded food, like I did. Maybe you reach for a drink. Lots of people do. Some reach for drugs. Even the most spiritually centered and grounded among us have those moments of looking for self nurture. I think I realized that more this weekend than I ever have before.
The eating trend of the day only went downhill when I got home! You wouldn't think it could get any worse but it did. Today I was better, lunch was a nice healthy home made vegetable soup, green salad and fruit.
Mother is far too strong, even now, to engage in these behaviors of comforting herself but I wonder if it would help her if she did once in awhile.