My mom would probably FREAK OUT if she knew I was posting a picture of her on the Internet...if she really knew what the Internet was, she would MEGA FREAK, but she still lives in the time of Lotus spreadsheets and computers only being used to 'type stuff' so what she doesn't know won't hurt her.
I'm kidding. I told her I was posting a picture of her on my blog. "On your what?? Oh, Sarah....What is that?" At least she knows, kind of :) It was not easy to get a picture of her- she is a little camera shy. But Abigail convinced her since it is Mothers Day.
My mom has lived with us for about 9 years now. She isn't able to live alone due to her health; both mental and physical. People often ask me "how do you do it?" The thought of having a parent living in the home with you can be overwhelming, and at times, vexing to some. I will not lie, learning to live this life has been a process. It has not always been easy- I will not go into details of the how's or why's it wasn't easy- but it just wasn't.
I had just had Abigail, our 2nd child. Josh and I were living in an apartment. It became apparent that my mom was no longer able to care for herself, but she wasn't "nursing home" status either. We didn't know what to do. She certainly couldn't move into our small 2 bedroom apartment with us. So, we bought a house. A 3 bedroom ranch with a full basement. Josh could finish the basement, put some bedrooms down there, a bathroom, etc.. easy as pie. NOT SO EASY! We live on a flood plain, getting permits to remodel in a flood zone requires flexibility and lots of ability to jump through many hoops. But we managed. The basement slowly came along and was finally finished. Good thing, because by this time we had 4 kids!
And now we have 5 kids, 1 Grandma, and 2 parents living in this house. So how does one manage?
1. Pray a lot. There was a lot of resentment on my part at first. (woe is me...why did this happen, can't someone else bear this responsibility...blah blah blah...) I did way too much complaining the first couple of years.
2. Accept the fact that this person is your parent, and you can not control her/him, even if you want to. I can't make my mom do anything- so as much as it frustrates me to see her lying around "not doing anything" (in my opinion) she is entitled to live her own life, the way she wants to, as long as it is not endangering her or my children.
3. Understand that it is your duty to take care of an elderly parent- if it is within your capability. I'm not saying there won't be a time when my mom will not have to go to a nursing home, because there are some things I am not able to do- she may require care that I can not provide. But until them, I will offer her our home.
My mom gave me life. She loved me, she still does. She enjoys playing card games with the kids, drinking coke zero, eating donuts, doing word searches, and playing the keyboard. She is hoping for an organ, but I'm not sure if any organs are going to magically appear any time soon. She plays by ear. The other day she told me that she played 50 Beatles songs. She often plays the entire soundtrack of Grease, and various other musicals.
I love my mom- for who she is, and I am thankful for her.
Happy Mothers Day!