Motionless I lie


As motionless I lie

I see from the corner of my eye

You, my child scurrying around to get things done .

You stay awake all night, listening to my laboured breathing . I feel your heart race with twice the speed of mine

Especially when you feel my pace has faltered .

Fear not my child it’s not yet time

For me to leave you and join my folks long gone who wait for me to join them

shuffling patiently  to make some room for me .

As I lie motionless, I see the fear in your eyes when you think I’m rambling on about an aunt long gone or of people shouting or laughing loudly when none exist

But I haven’t lost my mind

Not yet . It’s just a bit jumbled up. And memories come tumbling out unbidden

From my head. For no reason .

As I lie motionless you feed me spoon by spoon

The way I fed you when you were small .

With trepidation your eyes  question: have I failed you ?

No my child you have not .

How can I explain that you don’t love me any less when you keep me in professional care .

In the hands of strangers who somehow seem to know me better than I know myself .

Who deftly turn me from side to side, mindful of my aching bones

And make my bed with me inside!

They change my clothes and wash me clean while you feel it should have been you.

But no! Throw out all guilt and feelings of inadequacy for in this time that’s difficult for

you and me

It is best that strangers attend to me as
I lie motionless and helpless.

Many of my friends have now reached an age where they have to look after ailing parents. With most of us past our prime, it is often difficult for us to physically tend to sick parents. 

Most of us are racked with guilt when we seek the help of professionals to assist in nursing. But does asking a trained care giver for assistance amount to neglect or disrespect or even unconcern?

Would love to hear your views on this.

Image of Bellybytes



Author: Bellybytes

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

8 Comments on “Motionless I lie

  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with looking for professional care for parents. In some cases, like if a parent is bed ridden, trained professionals can look after them much better, I think. I don’t think it is callous, whereas abandoning them would be. It’s difficult though, to have to see our parents suffer like that…
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Tarot reading for April 2018My Profile

  2. Not necessarily, Sunita. I think caregivers are professionally trained to give their best so if the family members find it physically exhausting (given that we are all looking at long term care for the elderly), I think professional help and care is the best way out. I see that happening a lot now as compared to a few decades back and one of the reasons for this could be that a lot more service providers are available now than in the past.
    Esha recently posted…Atrophy | #WordlessWednesdayMy Profile

  3. Beautiful poem! I have tears in my eyes as I give you my applause!

    Even for those who are physically able to care for aging parents, it’s an exhausting task! For those who can’t physically look after aging parents or family members: if you need help, reach out and ask for it!

    Aging in place can sometimes be better accomplished at home with the help of nurses or aides coming in to help. Other situations call for placing an person in a special facility. Each situation is unique, as the caregiver’s abilities to manage running a home, going to work at a job for income, raising children, the caregiver’s own health issues, etc. are all factors which need to be considered.

    Regardless of the solution, if efforts are made to have as frequent as possible visits, (to help the aging person feel loved and not forgotten) will help tremendously!

    We all sense when situations are difficult, though many people’s expectations aren’t in harmony with the caregiver’s reality! If a caregiver isn’t physically or mentally up for the long-term task, or needs to shift gears from being an at-home caregiver to having a family member “placed”, other people’s expectations can be the hardest to deal with.

    We can still love each other, from close by or from afar!

    Spending quality time is very important! Reading a person’s favorite books to them… bringing offerings of their favorite treats to tempt flagging appetites… children’s drawings (even scribbles) warm a heart… an electric fan… a warm yet light blanket or two… comfy slide-in slippers and robe… recording messages from family members and leaving an easy-to-play device to listen to them… arranging for fun outings from time to time… there’s so many ways to show love!

    Keeping a sense of family alive even when a person needs professional care is of course more difficult to do, but taking care of a person’s spirit becomes vitally important!

    Bravo to all the wonderful caregivers and Bravo to people who recognize when a situation is over their heads and who ask for help!

    Peace to all, Tamara

  4. I am in this very situation, in fact, as my 90 year old mother in law has lost the ability to take care of herself, and continues on her path of memory loss. When I tried to help her with certain personal care tasks in recent months I know I inadvertently hurt her doing this because I was inept and untrained. It is love to be there and to be advocating for the elderly family member.
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