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.