|My mother and me in Central Park, NY 1959|
Certain moments in my life have instantly snapped like a rubber band and I knew at that very instant no matter how hard I tried to fight it, that everything was about to change. It was like that the first time my mother gazed off in the distance, as she sat in her chair, and said to me in a childish voice, “Can you drive me home now? I want to go home but I don’t have any shoes so I can’t walk there.”
My mother was home. She has been living with me and my family for the past 10 years. Snap goes the rubber band and I knew it was time to quite fooling myself. I had taken her to the doctor even though she had said she was perfectly fine. I was worried about the dosage of her medicine and forced her out of the house to see her doctor. His diagnosis was suspected dementia or another mild stroke. She seemed fine enough at the time but I was kidding myself, letting myself be deceived. Tell me, what child does not want to believe their mother? The rubber band snapped and in an instant I became the parent, my mother the child. My brother and sisters are in the states, so I am a so called single parent. I make the hard decisions alone with the support of my family here because they know firsthand the situation. I keep my sisters and brother informed as best I can, but as one of my sisters said, “What can I do?” She does the best she can by giving me emotional support and that is all I can ask for.
Yesterday after my husband and I checked my mother into a medical facility, where over the course of 3- 4 weeks she will be physically and mentally tested for disease, I felt relieved yet saddened. Relieved knowing that she will get the medical attention she needs yet has fought against. Saddened because I know this proud woman does not like to be where she is but has accepted the fact that she needs the kind of help that I cannot give her. Kissing her on the cheek and leaving her in the care of others reminded me of the first time I left my child in daycare. Strange how the wheels of time can turn and how the snap of a moment can change your life.
Be kind to the people you love because one day when you least expect it that rubber band will snap, and hopefully as your life is changed you will make the right choices.
Happy New Year my friends! I hope the choices you make this year bring you success and happiness!