My Journey Is Just Beginning
My journey of caring for my mother is just beginning. Prior to this, I have always enjoyed bragging rights about my mother and her health and mental clarity. She was always independent, and was able to care for all of her needs by herself. Things are slowly beginning to change, as the wheels of time move forward.
I realized things were not exactly aligned with the planets when she forgot(after 23 years) that she exchanged gifts and cards with me on Mother's Day. Last week she could no longer remember the layout of the house she and my father designed and had built. Today, she called me to ask me when my birthday was. I am an only child, and have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with my mother. Now factors are affecting our communication, not the least of which are her memory and her hearing. She is still able to maintain a residence in a senior apartment complex, and remembers all of the vital information of her two grandsons, but I wonder for how long. I am struggling with this "new" mother, as I find I am desperate for the "old" one, who was the walking family historian, the best baker in the world, and the fiercest card competitor known to man. I am spending more and more time at her home, doing simple tasks, or driving her to and from doctors appointments, that previously she was able to handle by the senior citizen apartment transit.
I am torn between feeling dispair for myself, and sympathy for my mother, who is now unable to raise her arm to comb her own hair, and cannot grasp a fork and knife in her arthritic hands.
I guess I am asking for some advice, and for coping skills that I so obviously lack.