Saturday, April 1, 2006

Memories....

At times I can remember when the roles were not reversed. Times when my mother took care of me and not vice versa. I am the youngest in a family of 3 children. My sister and brother are several years older than me so I grew up having the best of both worlds; I had siblings yet by the time I was 13 both of my siblings were in college so I was like an only child. My dad and I were so close that we were called the "gruesome twosome" by the rest of the family. Sadly, my dad passed away nearly 9 years ago and I still think of him and miss him every day. My relationship with my mother was always very close. I remember crying buckets of tears whenever she would leave for a night out with my dad. She was always there to take care of me. In my teenage years we became friends as well as mother and daughter and that relationship has continued. Now my mother is losing her memories and the roles are reversed; now I'm the caregiver. In fact, sometimes she will call me "Mom" as in her mind the line has become gray. The woman who ran the family budget now is too confused to write a check correctly. When we have groceries delivered, she cannot remember that cottage cheese belongs in the fridge. She's lost her creativity too. She was a painter, a knitter and a jewelry maker. Thanks to my mom, I too have a very pronounced artistic side. She was also an avid book reader; plowing through several books every week. Now she struggles to say the right words and has trouble recalling the names of everday items. She knows something is happening to her and she quite frequently dissolves into tears over things that she never would have before. I'm grateful for the time that I am able to spend with her. We live together now so that I can be her caregiver. I know that she is eating well, that she is bathing and that she does not have to struggle with finances. I take care of those things for her. I try not to think about what lies in the future for both of us. I truly try to live one day at a time. I adopted a kitten to join us. Mom loves this kitten and the kitten loves her. My mother, as a young parent, never had time for pets as she was busy caring for a family. Now she enjoys petting Olivia and playing with her. It's nice to see her bonding with a pet.

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