Bloggy Moms

Monday, May 12, 2014

Remembering My Mother

I was going to post this yesterday but I just ran out of steam or motivation or whatever.
Don't get me wrong I loved my mom dearly. I miss that she is not here to see her grandaughters grow up (my brothers each have 2 girls- no boys in the mix). I miss that I can't talk to her and get advice or just tell her about my day. We were very close before she became ill.
Before my brothers and I were born she had what is now referred to as a psychotic break. She spent several months in a mental health facility. Somehow once she came back home she was able to resume her life for a very long time without any medication. That is until all of us kids left home.
My dad also suffered from Mental Illness. My parents divorced when I was 7 because my dad became very unstable. My mom feared for our lives. My mom raised my brothers and I by herself. She made sure we were fed, clothed and had a roof over our heads. She made sure that we went to church and that we desired to become productive citizens. She gave up so much to ensure our happiness.
One by one all of us left the nest. First my younger brother left to join the Army. His intent was to only enlist for 4 years but you know how that goes. Before you know it you are married and signing up for more years. Then my older brother got married and started a life apart from my mom. I went away to college but I was still close by. When I finally married at age 33, my mom held it together for a few more years but eventually we saw a decline in her health and her mental health.
A few years after I got married, my husband and I were training for a marathon. My mom scheduled a knee replacement surgery right around the time of the marathon. Since I was flying out of state to participate in it, I asked my mom if she could post pone it but she said couldn't. As these things tend to happen, things did not go well. Two days after her surgery, my mom suffered a major stroke that landed her in the ICU of the hospital that she was recovering in. I  told my husband that he could go on and participate in the marathon but he felt he needed to be by my side.
Shortly after this event we saw my mom's mental health decline rapidly. The life that I had always dreamed of was not my own. I was signing my mom in and out of mental health facilities quite often. When we saw that my mom could no longer care for herself, we moved her to an assisted living facility close by where her apartment had been. That proved to not be a fit for very long. Next we moved her to the first of several board and care facilities where her needs could be better met.
I tried to see her when I could but it was very hard as I was really trying to live my own life. Around this time my husband had cancer twice and I was pregnant with Princess. Somehow we got through and fumbled along for almost four years more.
One day I was at the dance studio with Princess when I got a call from the doctor at the hospital telling me that my mom had been admitted with pneumonia. I'll never forget this doctor's words of "You better circle the wagons." I could not believe my ears. I did what I always did and pulled it together for my mom. I went to visit her in that hospital room where she lay comatose. I know she recognized me by the way her foot moved when she heard my voice. A few days later, she was gone.
It was interesting because she always identified with St. Patrick's Day since she was named after him. So she hung on a few more hours past midnight on March 18th.
I share this story to explain that I have experience with Mental Illness besides just my child. It is in my DNA. It is also in my husband's DNA. I had hoped it would skip our child and not manifest in her but it has. I truly believe that God needed a special mom and a special dad for this little one. So He chose us.
I take this responsibility very seriously that is why I fight so hard to get Princess everything she needs.
Blessings to you and yours on this day after Mother's Day.

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