Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Role reversal

I never imagined that some day I would be the caregiver to my mom.  I never thought that she would be dependent on me.  I never thought that I would be her decision maker.  I have a HUGE responsibility and it scares me to death.  The past year and 3 months have been the most difficult time in my 55 years.  My dad was the decision maker for he and my mom.  He paid the bills, fixed the house problems and did a lot of the running to the store.  When my mom had to retire because of medical issues, he was her caregiver.  He took an early retirement so he could be more available for her.  There were a lot of lonely days for my dad because of moms hearing loss and problems, she was in and out of the bed and with my dad being a people person, he missed not being able to communicate.  It killed me, watching my mom go thru the dizzy spells and operation on her ear and losing her hearing.  She use to be an energetic mom who lived at the fitness center and always had a tan, when she wasn't working, trying to make a living for us.  We never wanted for anything.  We didn't ask for much.  She was the best cook around.  She taught us to keep a tidy house, cook and dress in style.  I remember times when she would sacrifice to give to others.  She was active in church in the ladies ministries and even sang in a ladies trio that travelled around.    She was the designated Christmas tree decorator in the church.  She hand crocheted bells for the tree.  Her and my dad were team leaders in peanut brittle making for fund raising at the church.  They must have sold 1,000 or more bags at their work.    My mom was and still is a classy lady.  She was my babysitter.  She never complained about babysitting after working long hours at her job.  She was always eager to see the grandkids and always had special treats for them. 
She still lives in the house that I grew up in.  I go over every morning on my way to work and make our breakfast and usually making another trip in the evening to take her dinner.  She made the comment that she needs to sell the house and move in assisted living.  I told her whatever she decides, we will support her decision.  We are in a limbo state of not knowing what the right answer is.  I admit, it gets very tiring running 2 households, but as long as Mike and I are able, we will be there for her.  She gave a lot to me, so the least I can do is give back to her. 

3 comments:

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I was talking with Jeff's parents about this yesterday. It's hard to see it right now, but it's a season and I know Mommal appreciates every moment you give to her.

Steph

Sharon - MomGenerations said...

Oh, Rhonda... I feel your great love and sense of joy in your great responsibility... and how hard it is to watch our Moms grow dependent upon us. I, too, am my Mom's caretaker. Rita is vibrant and healthy, thank God, after a few years of physical situations. My Mom sold her home a year after my Dad died, in 1976, and has lived in nice apartments and then independent senior housing ever since. We are looking at assisted living facilities very near Barry and me soon and get her name on these lists. It is hard to see our Moms need us so, especially remembering their great independence and hearty attitudes. But each day I have Rita, I have the world... just like you. You are wonderful... xo!

Crooked Eyebrow said...

You are a wonderful mother and daughter. Your Dad has both of your backs and what is supposed to happen, will turn out for the best.

I think of you often and wish you all the strength you need, taking care of two households and keeping your self healthy is hard work.

xoxo