In honor of mother’s day, I thought I’d write about some of the strong women in my life. But then I thought about it and realized that I just wanted to write about one of them; my mom. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met and I am so incredibly lucky to call her mom. It took me a very long time to realize it but she is the first caregiver that I ever met and she helped me become the caregiver that I am today…
My mom’s mom, my grandmother, battled depression and, as a result, my mom sometimes helped take care of her. Because of this, my mom developed the ability to be a caregiver at a very early age and takes that roll on willingly on a daily basis. When my great-grandmother, my mom’s grandmother, could no longer live on her own, my mom didn’t think twice and asked her to live with us. Looking back, I now realize how lucky I was to have my great-grandmother live with us. I also realize how much my mom did for her and how much she gave up for her. It didn’t occur to me until after the quad was hurt but my mom was my great-grandmother’s caregiver for years. She dealt with insurance and home health and nursing aides and my great-grandmother’s care for years. She did what she needed to do for my grandmother and when someone else couldn’t do it, she took it upon herself to do everything. And she did it while raising three TEENAGE daughters, working and taking care of the house. Honestly, it breaks my heart looking back upon it knowing that I could have helped out more and didn’t… I know, I know… I was a teenager and let’s face it, how many teenagers really help out their parents like that?! I did not… Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom (and loved her then) and I loved my great-grandmother but I didn’t help out the way I should have… My mom never, ever asked us to act as caregivers for granny. not once. She took all responsibility and took all of the emotional, mental and physical stress that went with it and refused to let us have any of it. As a mom, I understand why… I try to shelter the kid from caring for her dad. I ask her to do very little for him since I do not want her to act as his caregiver. My mom did the same for us.
She did it for years until it was too much and granny had to move to a nursing home just a few blocks from our house. And for three years, she visited granny every day. every. single. day. Until the day granny passed.
I can imagine that my mom would never, ever admit that she felt some relief when granny passed. I know she did. And guilt for feeling it since she loved granny and all that granny did for her while growing up. But I just know that she felt some… since I know how she feels now. And I hate that I feel like she has to go through it again because of me and my family.
My parents were visiting when the quad was injured and, although my dad had to finally go home, my mom didn’t leave me for 8 months. 8 months! She gave up her entire life for me, for my child, for my husband. She picked me up when I was down. She took over parenting when I couldn’t. She kept me going when I wanted to stop. She is the reason why I am here. She is why I am doing so well. She is why I am so strong. She is my rock. I hope that one day I can repay her for all she has done although I know she does not expect it. No, she doesn’t. I am blessed to have been lucky enough to be born to her. I am lucky to be just like her. I have her smile. I have her eyes. I have her personality. I find myself talking to strangers in line at the grocery store. I am my mom.
And as much as I know I will try my hardest to make all of this up to you one day, the twins and I have already decided that one of the twins will be caring for you when you get older…. ha!
I love you, mom. thank you.