Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mother - Daughter

For several years now, my sister, brother and I have attended to the needs of my mom. I was driving through town, from Marietta to TN, July 2017 and called to check on her. During that conversation she was not making any sense. She could not form her words, and I just thought she couldn't hear me or she thought I was Cindi. I called my brother and he said she was fine, that he just left her two hours prior and she was doing laundry. Long story short, I called her back, her confusion was worse, so we jumped into action and had my sister-in-law and niece go by and call 911. She stayed in the hospital several days and has needed our care ever since. Primarily with food and medicine.
She has good days, where she remembers every detail, and bad days where she can't remember what she ate or anything else. Taking care of her has been hard on everyone. She lives with my brother, so I guess he has the most responsibility, but then again, with my job and going and coming or my sister's high stress job, it can be said it is just plain hard on everyone. Anyway, we can say in each our own way stress is evident.
Recently, the difficult situation has gotten virtual impossible for all of us and the stress level has doubled, from our own fault, not anything Mom has caused.
However, I came to a realization last week and it has weighed heavily on me ever since I came to the realization. It has depressed me and opened my eyes to all the hurt I am feeling right now.
I took mom to get her hair done for a funeral and we were having some serious conversations, my cousin dying being one. While like I said before, there are good days and bad days, what I should have said: There are good minutes and bad minutes! It (the memory) comes and goes that quickly. My cousin came by to tell mom about her sister and to look through mom's pictures. About an hour after Beth left, mom said, "Someone came to get some pictures- don't let them lose the one of Peggy smiling" She had forgotten it was Beth, that came by. She had forgotten what photo Beth took, but she remembered one that she found after Beth left.
So, during the course of our drive to the hair dresser and my talks with mom, I realized that she can't retain all that I am trying to talk to her about. She was always my "go to", she is the one I always talked over my problems with, and I finally had to admit to myself that she is just not there anymore. It hurts.
I know I shouldn't complain, so many don't even have their mom. I have been blessed with mine all these years and at 93, she has been in great health! But for "the baby", it is hard. We have always had morning chats, even when she lived in Alabama, that was how I would start my day. When I had to tell everyone about my cancer, it was my mom that was the most difficult! I wanted to be that child and break down, but I knew I couldn't. I knew she needed to see me strong and I wasn't sure I could do that with Mom.

Her hearing failing made those phone chats more difficult, plus my job being so erratic. Our dynamic has changed. I am no longer the daughter that can go to my mom for support and care, I am now the "Caregiver" and I don't like it- It is hard, it is depressing- and it is stressing me out.
And like I said, I know so many people who have had it much worse, and I feel for you and sympathize with all you have been through.
Getting old and growing up sucks! Be thankful for all the mom's out there- being a daughter is such a special part of your life, please cherish it, no matter how old you are!!