Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Through My Caregiver Eyes - Shadows

Today is Mother's Day and I would be remiss if I didn't recognize my mother on this day.  Her story has been so much a part of my blog and my life for years.

Mom struggling with her card.
I needed to open the envelope for her.
Today was a day for sun shine and flowers and cookies and a card!  Today was a day I had hoped the  shadows of her brain might clear a bit so she could enjoy this day.  But it was not to be.  She was happy to see me as I got a small smile on my arrival.  She briefly enjoyed the flowers I brought and she munched on a red sprinkled sugar cookie cut in the shape of a heart. But recognition of the holiday seemed lost on her.

We went outside to enjoy the sun shine - spending time in the center's gazebo is one of the things she likes to do.  But she promptly fell asleep.  Sleep seems to be her constant companion.  I have come to accept this.  It is enough that we spend time together.

Time to sit and think fills my visits.  My thoughts were interrupted by another family nearby.  They were sitting together with a grandmother in a wheel chair, and I could overhear them encouraging her.  She needed to work hard in PT and to eat all her meals and to not spend all her time in bed.  If she wanted to go home she needed to do these things ... otherwise she could not go home.

Such sadness I felt.  How many countless times I had that very same conversation with mom over our years together.  I tried to block out their voices.  Better to stay focused on the knitting I brought ... no sense in borrowing sadness when I had plenty of my own.

Shadows of the gazebo.
I looked up and saw the shadows of the gazebo about our heads.  How very much like the shadows of mom's brain that gazebo is - small spots of light and darkness.  When mom was admitted to the nursing home 6 weeks ago there were far more bright spots in her brain.  Lately the darkness seems to be gaining ground.

So on this Mother's Day I honor the woman my mother is!  She didn't have the easiest life but she raised her two daughters to be productive and caring members of society.  She held together her small  dysfunctional family when others might have given up.  She lived a long life with many satisfying and loved filled moments.  She might not remember any of this, but I do.

She does not suffer now.  She lives a calm life not disturbed by the loss of possessions and experiences.  For her Mother's Day is just like any other day.  It is as if her losses have been exhausted now - there is nothing more left for her to lose.

The Mother's Day card sat unopened on her lap.  She fell asleep while looking at the cover of the card.  I guess the warmth of the sun put her to sleep ... or maybe another bright spot is shrinking into shadow.

You are loved on this Mother's Day, mom.  


  1. I have written and rewritten something to you three times. This is the fourth. I wish we were in the same room . . . talking and sharing in person. Your reflective truth reminded me of my mothers final years . . . and my feelings of helplessness. As I look back now, I wish I had been able to just " take her life" as it was . . . not with my aching hope and wishing. I care . . . and ache for you . . .

  2. Happy Mothers Day and may God's peace be with you.

  3. Sweet and thoughtful post about your mom and how she lives a calm life now. You are doing your best to nurture her, well done.

  4. This post brought tears to my eyes. I can feel your love and care for your mom, and I would like to just give you a big warm hug for this. Even though your mom's bright spots are getting fewer you still remember them and you made them unforgettable with this blog.

  5. This is the saddest time in our lives when we lose the person we love while they remain with us. Honour the Mother she was, Love the Mother she is. A big blogger hug to you this day.

  6. This was so sad and I cried for all that is lost.
    But it is happy too, because your mom loves you very much and you love her and you have many good times to remember. : )
    Happy Mother's Day to you a day late.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to a loved mother - and to yourself, as well, even though that was not your intention. You are faithful and kind and your dedication will bring you much peace on future days. I am happy that you have each other!

  8. I love how you love your mother for who she is. This is really powerful. It can be easy to be sad and grieve for the person our loved one was before their illness, aging or injury. For you to feel the love and gratitude for who she is today speaks volumes about you both! Big hugs.


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