Mother (BBBC 2017-12)

What a long, strange trip it’s been. My Mother and I did not have the greatest of relationships during most of my lifetime. I can safely say that we were never close, never felt that bond that so many Mothers and Daughters share. I was a tomboy from an early age, preferring horses and even model cars to girlie stuff. I was my Dad’s daughter, taught to use tools, mow the lawn, drive a stick-shift car, at an early age.

As an adult, Mom often saw the error of my life choices, despite being a self-sufficient, professional woman. She thought I should be married and having babies. I preferred to work, travel, live my own life. We differed politically. I will leave it at that. At times, it got ugly. πŸ™‚

I married late, to a wonderful man that, surprise, surprise, Mom loved. Well, at least I did THAT right. πŸ™‚

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Mom in 1997, at our wedding

In 2012, at age 86, we started getting very concerned about Mom’s mental state, and her memory, in particular. She was repeating things over and over, she misplaced things, she was increasingly paranoid, she was no longer able to safely drive, and she had become obsessive about donating money, and buying coins, and other mail-order items. She was living alone in Florida, with a friend nearby who we thought was watching over her, but we realized the situation was no longer safe for her. A visit to a neurologist and geriatrician confirmed our worst fears, it was early stage dementia.

It took a full year, but slowly we convinced Mom she needed to be closer to family, and in January 2013, she finally agreed to move to an assisted living facility 20 minutes from my house. The care she required was initially minimal, and she adjusted well to assisted living, with 3 nice meals a day and lots of activities to keep her busy. A fall, two broken wrists, and a long year later, she started wandering and her executive function significantly declined.

The facility required she now be moved to a Memory Care unit, specifically designed for Alzheimer’s patients, with the safety and security they require. We made the decision to move her to a different facility, with a much nicer secure unit, and she settled in nicely.

She is now in her fifth year here in Georgia, and she is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. We are blessed with caring staff at her facility, and an angel in the form of a private nurse that visits regularly and has become part of the family. Mom speaks infrequently, sleeps a great deal, and is now mostly on a liquid diet. But days like today, when she smiled right at us, talked, and hummed while we visited make this whole process bearable. Through this progression, the differences fell away, and we have come to love each other as simply Mother and Daughter, something we could never do prior to this journey. Blessings come in many forms. Hug your family close, you never know how long you have.

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Mom this week

This post is part of the Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) issued by my moto-blog friend Kathy, aka ToadMama, to cover 28 blog prompts in the month of February. And good for undisciplined me, no rules either.

Toadmama’s Challenge

Prompt: Mother

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14 thoughts on “Mother (BBBC 2017-12)

  1. It’s official: You are as wonderful inside as you are on the outside.
    Beautiful post, my dear friend.
    I have an equally-complicated relationship with my mother. I hope to find the same peace someday, though I doubt it.
    Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my dear Robert, I feel exactly the same about you! ❀ It has blown me away to realize how many people share this experience in their family, be it mother or father. I hope you find that peace, whether it involves your mother, or not. Hugs!

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  2. About 10 years ago Alzheimer’s took my grandfather, my mom’s dad. It was such a sad ending for a guy who’d been larger than life, a hard-working fellow who’d loved being around others and loved having fun. I think that his children and grandchildren were grateful that he didn’t have to suffer with it for very long…

    I’ve always been intrigued by the parent / child dynamic, that relationship that should be so easy: People want a child, so it seems they should love that child unconditionally. I suppose that the challenge is that every child is completely itself, wholly its own personality, apparently different than what many parents “expect”.

    I’ve always had a pretty easy relationship with my mom, but I still wonder what my dad thinks of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed good times with him, but I can’t help but think that he’s disappointed. On the other hand, my sister has an easier time relating to our dad than she does to our mom, so…

    Lynne, I’m sorry that your daughter / mother relationship was a challenge and that your mother has Alzheimer’s, but it sounds like she’s got great folks taking good care of her, knowledge to take comfort in.

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    • Thank you Ry, I think that all human relationships are complicated, but parent-child seems to be the most so. Unconditional love seems to be something rare and exceptional, and to be able to experience it now with mom is better than never. I totally agree that it would be kinder for the Alzheimer’s to come on and take someone quickly, the lingering struggle is hard. But we had our silver lining, so there’s that.

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  3. Lovely, Lynn. Speaking as a daughter as well as a mother. these relationships can be complicated. Love, hate?
    I wish for your Mom peace and tranquility in her remaining years. You, too, my friend. I miss my Mother every day. She was taken too soon! —
    Love,
    Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! It is complicated but look at the beauty that comes out of it! I remember when you lost your Mom, it was much too soon. If we can just love my Mom for the time she has left, we will have done a good thing for all of us! ❀

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  4. What a wonderful tribue to your mother. It is the same with my mother and I, we have never saw eye to eye on many things. I was a spitting personality of my father and she didn’t know how to deal with me. He was outgoing and she was an introvert. I hope someday, we can sit down and have a heart to heart conversation.

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    • Thank you, Ginamarie! Ditto, ditto, ditto! All I can say is try to have that heart to heart sooner rather than later. I wish I had said so many things, and asked her so many things, that I can’t do now. I can just tell her I love her now and hope she understands. I think she does.

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