Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mothering Mom

This past weekend, I moved my mom into an assisted living home. After 10 years, my mom had a recurrence of breast cancer which has spread to her bone. After chemo and radiation compounded with her other health issues, she just wasn’t able to live on her own anymore. It was a tough decision, but one I feel certain was right. I’ve been making the tough decisions for my mom for about 7 years now, since my Granny passed away and left me in charge of her.
It is weird when you have a role reversal with your parents.  I am the daughter, but my mom looks to me to take care of things.  She calls me “the boss” or “the general” if she’s mad at me. I am not a mom (yet), but I sure have a lot of experience in worrying, saying no, handing out allowance, paying for necessities, cleaning rooms, giving advice, giving in and trying to make things all better.  Our relationship hasn’t always been easy. Maybe this experience will make me a better parent. 
This weekend I felt what it must feel like to drop your child off at college or camp. My sister and I bought her new sheets, towels, a TV, and a dresser. We hung family pictures and made everything really nice for her. The urge to do this was something that I really didn’t have control over. I wanted her to be happy and comfortable and not sad.  I did all this because I felt a little sad too. Sad that she had to move, sad that she isn’t able to care for herself and is losing her independence, sad that things didn’t go the way mother/daughter relationships are supposed to go for us and a little sad that I am giving my responsibility for her to someone else. What am I going to do? I actually asked the director this.  She said I am going to call her and tell her that I love her and spend time with her; they will take care of the rest.  Oh, is all I could say.  Maybe I’ll learn to be her daughter again.
After a weepy move-in day, my mom seems surprisingly happy.  She is adjusting better than I expected.  This is a good thing.  Maybe now that I don’t have to worry so much about her, I can take a moment to breathe.  I can now really focus on us starting a family through adoption. Yes, I think this is a good thing.

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  1. What a beautiful entry, Jenn. Heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. Thinking of you.

  2. Life is not always fair or easy. Thats why we have friends/family to get us through tough times. You will get through this chapter in your life just fine because I know you have great friends/family:) Your mom is greatful & knows what you have done for her over the years was not easy esp doing it long distance. Im sure she will settle in fine & you will start making those phone calls to just say "hi" & to ss how her week went:) It will all work out, & yes I believe God was preparing you & Marlon to be parents to your own child one day;) Even though we dont talk much anymore I want you to know Im always gonna be here for you if you need an "old" friend to lean on....take care & you did the right thing:)~Leah


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