Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all. Today we're having a special brunch at a local restaurant that is in a castle. It's at a golf course, really close to home and, from what I hear, their brunch is pretty impressive. I know there's prime rib and roast turkey, various seafoods, and great sides. All will be there, and I'm looking forward to not having to cook.

Now a little about my mom. She moved in with us two years ago, and unfortunately, it has nearly ruined what relationship we had. I was always Daddy's girl, and so when my sister and dad passed within two years, I was left to care for my mom. Living with someone who is critical and constantly complaining isn't easy and the fact that she is here 24/7 doesn't help. She refused to accept that I'm an adult, and insists on treating me like I'm a 10 year old. But even so, she is quite a lady.

My mom is a cancer survivor. In 1968, shortly after I graduated from high school, my mom was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Surgery was performed, and we waited for the lab results. When the dr. called to tell my dad that they had gotten it all, my dad cried. I had never seen that before. In 1990, my dad was diagnosed with an aneurysm and after surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital was in surgical intensive care for 10 months. My mom visited him nearly everyday, and was at his bedside for hours at a time. In early August of 1991, Daddy was transferred to a rehab hospital and in late August, my sister died at the age of 37. Mom was dealing with the fact that her husband was not the strong willed man he had been, and now had to deal with the death of her youngest daughter as well. Daddy was released from rehab in November, and with our help, mom moved to a small apartment, sold their home, and learned to care for Daddy's colostomy. In 1992 Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and radiation therapy. But although her strength was waning, Daddy's care never suffered. She took excellent care of him up to the day he died. And so, in 1993, less than two years after losing her daughter, Mom said goodbye to her husband of 43 years. She moved from their apartment into a senior's building, and was quite happy there until her own health began to worsen. In 2000, Mom was again diagnosed with breast cancer, and this time elected to have a mastectomy. After a period of recuperation, she returned to her apartment and stayed there until she was hospitalized 11 times in a year due to congestive heart failure. At time Rod suggested she move in with us, and so she did. Life for me changed drastically, and it hasn't been easy. But I know that it was necessary. Her arthritis is much worse, and, due to kidney problems, she can't take any type of arthritis medication. Her pain is tremendous, but she insists on unloading the dishwasher every day. I do admire her so much, and wish she didn't have to live with so much pain. I will never forget how she cared for my dad. I don't know that I could do the colostomy care that she did. Each time he had a problem, he would cry and Mom would tell him it wasn't a big deal. But we all knew that it was. And now you know my mom, my mother-in-law, and a little more about what made me the person I am. Have a great Mother's Day. Linda

No comments: