Today feels like the first day in a little while that I have relaxed.
Spent most of last week at my parents visiting and trying to treasure each moment I can, while I can. Dashed back from there to face two exams yesterday & catching up with those I’m close to here.
Never let it be said that I haven’t truly felt life. The ups, the downs, the in betweens – ALL rolled up into a week. One moment I’m laughing, next I find myself breaking down. For now it just needs to be that way.
Strength in family members and myself continues to amaze me. I watch helpless as our world changes so vividly, thankful for the memories and being able to know who we have been. Slightly fearful for who we are becoming but hopeful.
As much as I stress out and feel bad about my own struggles, I honestly have no clue how my mom deals with all she does right now. To experience the decline is something most of us will embrace but to do so with such determination and grace, proves what a great woman she is. So many times I watched this week as she shook gripping her walker lifting her disappearing body up off the bed or recliner to come to the table and eat her tiny portions. I offer to bring a tray to her seeing how worn out she is or offer a hand in lifting up, only to be denied. She has the spirit and independence she described many times I had as a child learning to maneuver through life. I now see where I got it from. “I can do it” seems a motto we both vow to live by.
Wish like crazy I knew how to help or make it more comfortable, but know this is her path to walk and every day is an achievement fought for. I see how easy it would be to get depressed and allow other to do for her, but she is unwilling to surrender. Not yet.
Have become increasingly aware that the day will come when the challenge becomes more than she will be capable of. I feel selfish for wanting her to struggle on. I feel afraid of her letting go. As much as I feel, I know there is nothing I can do. Just be by her side as much as I can. Be proud that she is my mom and even when the battle ends, that title will remain. All she has taught me, in words and deeds, has made me who I am. I may not have understood it all at the time, but she did what she knew to be best. Conversations heal and things that felt so big before, don’t feel so much. She is my mom. No matter what, she will always be my mom.
I have seen her face this head on since mid 2000. Knowing that this is one of the incurable forms and that most don’t stay around this long, helps me to be aware of just how incredible a fighter she is.
As lost as I feel, I am grateful for each and every second we get together. Simultaneously I want to rewind time, stop it & fast forward. Easier days will come, but at what cost? The past is mine to hold on to forever. Today is all I have to focus on right now. Just be.
That and maybe take a shower, get out of bed & dry my eyes. There are gifts to find & wrap. Cookies to bake. Bags to pack but first laundry. Oh and still one project and exam to finish up the last week of classes. Just have to do it all and remember where I come from. It is what mom would do.