I told my baby, Caesar, the other day, it must be nice to have everything done for you. He doesn’t have to do anything. We feed him, clean him, and carry him everywhere he needs to go. As I said this, I looked over at my nearly 90 year old mom and got sad.
I have taken care of my mom for nearly seven years. My duties have increased with time. It is very hard on her and me. Getting older is hard especially when you have to depend on others to help you.
I will never forget the first time I knew my mom needed extra help. She called me and asked me where was her beauty shop was located. I was so confused. She had been going to the same beauty shop for at least 15 years. I told her if she couldn’t remember where her beauty shop was, she probably shouldn’t go. Luckily she obliged. I immediately made arrangements to get my mom.
I have been accused of being over protective of my mother. I disagree. I have heard stories of older people who have gotten confused and never heard of again. There is a program called the Silver Alert. It is similar to the Amber Alert program but for persons over the age of 65, who have been medically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or mental disability. It is not a nation wide program but we do have it here in Texas. I am grateful for this. I hope I never have to utilize this program but I am glad it is in place.
I think back to the day I knew my mother needed help and I am glad I stepped up. A distant family member of mine was found with his night clothes on and his shoes on in a lake. He was known for wandering off.
Two years ago I prayed my mother would still be around to see me have children. I am so glad my prayer was answered. She sings to the baby, gives him kisses and plays with his toes. I love seeing Caesar lean over and give her kisses.
Sometimes it is hard to admit that you have to be the parent to your parent. Even though I knew right away, there are some things I find hard to face. One thing that always bothers me is my mother always scolded me about talking with my mouth full. Now, this is something she does quite often. It really makes me sad. Sometimes I cry.
I hope I have the privilege of taking care of her for a long time. When I was pregnant, I wondered if I would be able to handle being a caregiver to my mom and my baby. It is a lot of work but well worth it. Sometimes family members give me praise for doing it and I always tell them, she took care of me when I was little when my real mother chose not to.
My mom never liked living alone. So when I offered to come live with her she was very happy. If you have a loved one that may need help or if you are thinking about becoming a full time caregiver to your parent, the rewards outweigh the costs.
© 2012, MaLu Bradford Beyonce, All Rights Reserved.
You may reach MaLu Bradford Beyonce at firstname.lastname@example.org