Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I thought being the parent of twins was hard but it was a walk in the park compared to now being the parent of my 91 year old mother. This reversal of roles has been a slow process but with each passing year the need has increased. It is still hard for me to think of her as incapacitated in any way. She is now, and always will be, my mother. However, it is I that must now make decisions in her best interest. Decisions that she is not always happy about and resists at times just like a child. On Monday she was transferred from the hospital to an extended care facility where with therapy we hope she will eventually be able to return to home. She looks so frail and so sad that my heart breaks every time I have to leave her. The facility is beautiful and I was comforted by the staff and everyone involved in her care but it was hard none the less to leave her with yet another group of strangers. Last night as I pushed her in her wheelchair down the hall to the tv room she looked up and asked, "Are you taking me home now?" It broke my heart to tell her no. Just two weeks ago we didn't expect her to live through the night yet here she is. I realize she still has lessons to teach me and I hope that I learn them all. I am just grateful for the opportunity.

I told my daughter Jamie recently that this experience is also an opportunity for she and her sister to grow as well. They are so attached to their grandmother and they have shared such a beautiful relationship. My mother taught my daughters to swim and she helped them develop their love for art. She has been a constant presence in their lives and they love her very much. This is their dress rehearsal for when the time comes that they must become my parent. My mother is providing all of us with life lessons and perhaps the most important one of our lives. She is teaching us how to say good-bye.

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