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home : columns : dear harriette November 26, 2020

10/29/2020 7:57:00 AM
Son must think carefully before bringing mom home

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother is in a nursing home. She has recovered from COVID-19 in recent weeks. I haven't seen her in months. Not seeing my mother has worn on me. She is so bright and vibrant. I saw her at least three times every week before the pandemic. I must have developed separation anxiety because I cry at all times of the day when I think of her. I feel like I have lost her and will never see her again. Not seeing her has really made me feel like she has passed on. But she hasn't; she is right where she always has been.

I have been demanding that her home let me see her, but they say it is just impossible. I talk to her for five or 10 minutes on the phone each week, but I just feel like I've abandoned her. At this point, I am ready to pull her from the home and bring her back to my place. Am I selfish if I do that? I just want her to be OK, and I have a feeling of guilt over not seeing her. -- Mama's Boy

DEAR MAMA'S BOY: The toll that COVID-19 has taken on our elders in nursing homes is hard to fathom. The isolation and loneliness are palpable, and experts say that many elders do not fare well in what has become a prisonlike environment. Further, like your mother, many elders have gotten the virus anyway from health care workers. It all seems unfair. As you are describing, what's not discussed as often is the toll on family members who aren't allowed to see their loved ones. It's tough all around.

Talk to your mother's doctor about her options. You need to have the capability to care for your mother if you bring her to live with you. How is her health, now that she has suffered COVID-19? The virus often leaves residual effects. What are her medical needs? Discuss everything with the doctor to weigh your options. For now, find out if her facility has an iPad or other such device. Many people are doing videocalls with their loved ones to help them stay connected.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex and I broke up when I found out he hid a daughter from me. He had gotten a woman pregnant whom he barely knew before we started dating, and she never told him until the daughter was born. Once she told him, he kept it to himself and got a DNA test. I found the DNA papers in the mail and left him after I knew he had been lying.

Three years have passed, and he recently came back to town and proposed to me. I've been secretly seeing someone from work for the past year, and this co-worker just told me that he loves me. I'm trying to figure out if maybe I moved on too fast from my ex or if I should keep to the new path I've paved. I still love my ex and was just hurt, while he's doing well and saying all the things I've wanted him to say. Am I a fool to take him back? Or am I a fool to lose a new man who's been great and wants to take things a step further? -- Fool for Love

DEAR FOOL FOR LOVE: Step back and evaluate your feelings. Did you and your ex ever talk about the situation after you left? If this relationship is unresolved in your heart, it may be hard for you to be fully present with your new beau.

You have to decide your next steps. Honesty must be your guiding force. If you want to give your ex a chance, you have to tell your guy at work what you are doing. But don't just take your ex back. Talk it out and determine whether you share values, goals and dreams. Don't take long to make a decision.





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