Friday, May 8, 2009

~Mother's Day 2009~

Dearest Mom,

When I was little, I never imagined you’d grow old. Ever. After all…you were my mom: fearless, beautiful, smart. Sparkling and smiling. Strong.

You made me feel safe. And loved. Even when you were mad at me. I’m trying so hard to make you feel that way now.

It’s frightening to step into your room, not knowing ‘who’ I’ll find. Will it be the woman whose eyes twinkle when she sees me standing there….or the one who is scared and confused and begging me to tell her where she is and how she got there? Will I find the woman who has forgotten that her own mother passed away over 30 years ago, and asks why my father hasn’t been there to see her lately or the one who inquires about how the doll-making is coming along?

You were always so patient with me. And I’m trying so hard to be patient with you….when you can’t walk very quickly, or when you call and tell me you’ve been “waiting by the door for hours” for me, when we really had no plans to go anywhere. You get mad…and tell me, “We did SO. You just forgot, young lady”. It breaks my heart.

I try so hard to put myself in your shoes. To know the fear in your heart when you can’t remember where your home is....or the belief that you are “stuck at work and everyone’s left” and you have no way home. I can’t imagine the terror. I see it in your eyes whenever I try to reassure you that you are not at work…that you’ve been retired for over 30 years and that you ARE home. Safe. And loved. I can tell you feel anything but.

And now…shingles. Oh, Mom…..I am SO sorry this is happening to you. I have to admit that I’m mad at God right now. REALLY mad. I know I shouldn’t be…..but I am. Why God…WHY?

And so….this Mother’s Day…I can’t even send this to you, because I don’t want you to read this and see how bad things really are, and that you are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Reading that would make the horror worse for you than it already is.

Just know that I love you with all my heart. And that I am here. Whenever you need me. Always. Just like you were for me.


Your Daughter Carol


bj said...

Carol...I can't even talk right now...too emotional later..but love to u.

Jennie said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story, and your love and your fears. Your mother must be so proud to have raised a daughter to be so full of empathy and passion. I hope that her shingles do not linger, and that she is free from that pain soon. And I hope that on Mother's Day, you are appreciated for the wonderful woman that you certainly are.

Suze said...

It must be heart-rending to see your loved mother so, and not to be mad with impossibility... But, your love shines through in every word, and shows what a truly beautiful person you are...

RiverPoet said...

Oh my God, Carol....what a beautiful, heartfelt post. My heart breaks for you, though, that you have to see your mother being deconstructed over time. Be strong...what else can you be?

As an aside, your mother in the picture looks so much like my mother when she was young that I did a double-take.

Peace - D

The Pink Birdhouse said...

Carol, your post is both beautiful and heart breaking all at the same time! I am sitting here too, like so many others, with tears in my eyes, at what life has done to your mom and how she has to live right now, and for you to have to stand by and watch it happen. And it makes me think of my mom, lost to me now and me missing her every day of my life. Suddenly I am wordless, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post. You are not afraid to dig down deep into your emotions and share them with all of us! hugs to you, and give one to your dear mother too, Debby

Patti said...

Carol, thinking of you this mother's day and every day. Your mother raised a wonderful daughter who has strength and courage and compassion through the best and worst of times. xoxoxo

Jeni said...

As if the senility issues aren't hard enough to deal with but to have shingles is like adding insult to injury. That has to be one of the world's worst when it comes to ailments -so terribly painful and the darned after shocks seem to last forever too!
But this was such a beautiful and so poignant letter. About all you can do is pray for the faith to be able to cope with all the many ups and downs that come with the territory you're in now.
Happy Mother's Day though and ... Peace, too!

Anonymous said...

Tears are streaming down my face as I think of the valiant job you are doing in mothering your own mother with such compassion, courage, and integrity. Please know that YOU are loved, too, as a mother, daughter, wife, and friend.


Mel said...

My precious, precious Carol. You have every right to be mad...even at God. But remember...He's God...He's big enough to take whatever it is you need to throw at Him...and then hold you close and help you get through it.

I love you my friend.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Carol...I am so heart is heavy and with can be so full of questions...I cared for my Mom...she died 11 months ago...and so I know that you are a BEAUTIFUL example to all who know you, and that you demonstrate the unconditional love that your mother modeled for you. You have written of your heartbreak with such extraordinary authenticity, and have given us beauty from your pain...there is nothing more that can be said. But I will carry you to Jesus...My heart is with you this Mother's Day.~Janine XOXO

Marci said...

Carol, you may be mad at God (& I don't blame you) but I know He's so proud of you and loves you. It's ISN'T fair that your mom has shingles - what a sour topping to the bitter hell she's stuck in. Happy mother's day to one of the most beautiful mothers I know - YOU!

Linda said...

Wow what a post.
Best wishes.

Jules~ said...

Carol, I am so sorry things are hard right now. I can only imagine the things you must go thru every day in being with your mom. I often feel on such shaky ground with my mom and her health but her mind is so clear and I am grateful. I was thinking of you the other day when we were in the hospital and just putting myself in your shoes. I prayed for you.

I pray for today to be a blessing for you. Feel God's peace around you and Lord bring quick healing and comfort to Carol's mom.

Census (aka Cen aka June.S) said...

A beautiful post from the heart.
Thank you for sharing it.

Meagain said...

Poignant and sad, yet also very beautiful and real. Carol, my heart aches for you. What a wonderful inspiration you are to me. So powerful. Thank you for sharing your heart, the love and the pain.

Amy said...

I will pray for your Mom. I love the photo....thank God there are wonderful photos such as this. They make a moment in time stand still forever!!!! I helped care for my best friend's parent for 5 years with Alzheimer's and my Grandmother had it too (I believe I have mentioned this to you before)so I know how hard this terrible state can be. My Mom had cancer that went to her brain and I was amazed at how many of her thought processes (Or lack of) were so similar to Alzheimers. For weeks and weeks she talked to me as though I were one of her girlfriends and we were back in the 1930's. I found it less stressful to her to just try to play along. Oh how it is hard to be a Mom to your Mom instead of being able to be the daughter-- needing comfort yourself!!!!!
I had shingles twice! The second time was when my second daughter was only a few months old. I try to forget that!!
I send hugs and best wishes for your strength.