Wednesday, May 19, 2010

THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Originally written 12/28/2006 and posted on Abnormally Normal People

Nothing is constant, but change yet the older we get the harder it is to accept change or to welcome it as one of life's many journeys. As we grow older we look for a certain type of stability. That stability is similar to the feeling of comfort our feet feel when we wear our favorite old pair of well broken in shoes or when we slip on that pair of jeans that fits just right. We seek a calm...a type of peace that comes from learning those lessons in life that are meant to strengthen us and make us feel confident in times of trouble. Change? Doesn't change mean stress? Doesn't change bring an upheaval? A transition? A new lesson to be learned? Change means both a beginning and an end.

Just recently I have begun a metamorphosis that is meant to ready me for what is termed "the golden years"... not mine, but those years when parents start to decline. As I step into the position of watching the woman who raised me become needy and frail, I have started to witness just how strong I am even when I really don't want to be strong. As much as I would like to change fate or turn back the hands of time, I know I can't. All I can do is offer my help and be there for her as our roles reverse. I offer my guidance, strength and stability as she declines. I hide my fears and try to deal with the frustration I feel. This frustration isn't from feeling resentful for my new role, but from feeling that I am so limited in the comfort I can offer to make this transition easier for all involved.

I see the toll this past year has taken on her. My mother once could bounce back from anything. She was a fighter and now I see an old woman who is weak and scared. I see a woman who has some health problems and I wonder just how long she has minimized how poorly she feels. The denial she has so successfully integrated into her world is now just flimsy facade. Her "act" was for the sake of her family and friends as well as for her own sake. Now, I see someone whose words of optimism are hollow and whose acceptance of fate echoes from emptiness. The positive attitude she clung to while battling cancer has been replaced with a cloud of confusion and physical weakness.

So here I am beginning my journey as my mother's caregiver. As we change roles, I remember all the things I've learned from being her hard-headed daughter. At times, I smile and at other times when I'm alone, I allow myself to cry, but regardless of how I feel, I can and will deal with whatever happens as it happens. This I do, not because I have to, but as a way to show my gratitude and love to her for always believing in me.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful I wrote this at the beginning of my journey so I can reflect upon it now when I feel despair and anger.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! The love for ones mother is such a strong bond. I remember Mrs Goggins (as I used to call her) as such a vibrant strong lady. Outwardly smiling and happy as I saw her. Love for her boys and one very strong willed and stubborn daughter....And a very shaky marraige. But Rosalie never seemed to falter ... I know she had the strength of 10 women in her. She always was good and kind to me. taking me under her wing as such for my own mother was very ill. I lived at her house and she welcomed me. Many many outings in that little bug of hers...( and yes i remember her bad driving as well). Yet now she has grown old. Not by choice because I know in her heart she still feels the youth she once had. Just her body and mind wont cooperate. This wonderful woman who gave of herself to so many is now had to reconcile to the fact that it doesn't work the same anymore. She is one fortunate woman to have a daughter so devoted and full of love to watch over her in her twilight years. Her one and only daughter who is so much like her.The inner strength that both of you have is strong and the love you have shared all these years speaks of it. Best wish's to you Mrs Goggins and my hat's off to you Karen...

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  2. Margie, I'm blushing! You make me sound like a saint and all I'm really doing is what I hope someone will do for me someday and hopefully, I won't be as stubborn as my mother has been. It surprises me that you compare me to her because most people say we're complete opposites...except for the "strong-willed" thing and that I get from both sides of the family.

    I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts here. It really means a lot to me! In those years of our youth, I'm grateful you had a second place to call "home" while your mother was so sick. I'm sure on some level your mother was grateful too even though we always managed to get in trouble. It's a shame you were such a bad influence on me! [really LOL]

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  3. You left a comment on my blog about love. Since then I have had to suddenly take care of both my parents. It is very difficult when they both where abusive so family stays away. I have begun my caregiver journey also this year.

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