Wrapping up this mini-series called Family Matters, I am drawn to reflect about my Mother. The previous post was about Community. Part of one’s community can be family members. I have asked myself, how am I doing personally and how am I doing as a daughter and sister when it comes to caring for my Mother?
I recently saw the movie Finding Dory. Dory suffers from short-term memory loss. Her parents love her for all of who she is. When watching the movie, I found myself emotional over the fact that I am not sure I have treated my Mom over the last few weeks with that same type of love and patience. I want to make sure when I’m around my Mom, not to allow Alzheimer’s, as well as my own stuff I am working on in my life, to create a wedge between us. I want to have an attitude with her that demonstrates kindness, patience, love, and flexibility. One thing I have learned about this experience is that you never know where the conversation will go. So going with the flow is something I am striving to do well. I want to see the gifts that are presented before me while relating to my Mom in her Alzheimer’s. As time moves forward, I hope I can continue to learn from my Mom as a daughter who is also a mother wanting to teach my daughters what it looks like to love someone in the mist of challenging circumstances.
I realized there were days that I couldn’t be around my Mom as she grieved her husband and I grieved my Dad. My energy was depleting. I started feeling guilty that I didn’t want to be around my Mom. I realized I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and I didn’t have energy for anyone. I need to be responsible for myself to make sure I am filled up with what I need so I can give what others need, especially for my mom at this time. In a very short time, my mom has had to leave her friends and home of over 20 years and move to a new state close to family. We all will be creating new memories in this new chapter of life with my Mom.
So much has changed in my Mom’s life over the last 6 weeks. Learning what to reasonably expect from my Mom, myself, my family and from Mom’s caregivers is important so I can better respond to the many changes happening during the days, weeks, and soon to be months after Dad’s death. Alzheimer’s, along with huge transitions in one’s life, brings confusion and grief. The doctor said to give Mom at least three to six months to adjust. I imagine I need that much time as well. Maybe more.
I am cherishing the time I get to spend with Mom. I hope to be present with her often to share special moments as well as glean from the wisdom she shares. Family matters.
Mom, you are a Treasure and a Pearl. You are loved! You are brave!
Love, your daughter