Maybe I should have saved this post for my mom’s birthday or mother’s day, but it seems appropriate now.
Thanks to a wonderful app called Timehop, I get a daily alert of what I posted via social media on any given day a year ago, two years ago, etc.
As many of you know, we just celebrated Madeline’s first birthday. So my Timehop alerts for the past few weeks have been reminders of the time leading up to, including and right after her birth.
It’s been great to relive all that.
What many of you don’t know is that at the same time that we were celebrating such a joyous event, something much sadder was happening as well.
My grandmother, who had been starting to show the very beginning, subtle signs of dementia, contracted a UTI. For those not in the know, a UTI can speed up the progression of dementia.
And on the third night that I was in the hospital after giving birth, things got bad with my grandma. My mother got a call from police in the middle of the night.
We brought Madeline home, and as I previously blogged, I had really bad postpartum depression. My mother came to stay with us that first week that we were home.
This SAINT of a woman went back and forth between taking care of me, her grown, blubbering, useless, depressed heap of a daughter and my newborn, to taking care of my grandma and navigating through the minefield that is nursing homes.
Seeing her own mother so helpless and so different and confused had to be incredibly difficult for my mom. I know that the guilt from deciding to put her in a nursing home was at times almost crushing. And having to deal with watching me, her daughter, be sad about and scared of the one thing I’ve wanted for so long, was mind-boggling and certainly no picnic either.
Most people would have quit. Or broken down. Or complained.
Most people would have completely buckled under the sheer weight of all of that.
Not my mother.
The reason I didn’t save this post for Mother’s Day is that while it’s certainly nice to have a day set aside to recognize these important caregivers, mothering is an all-day, every day job. Now that I am one, I get it more than ever.
If I can be half the mom to Madeline, and daughter to my mother, that she has been, then I would consider myself to be pretty excellent.
Mother, you are my guiding light, my shining beacon, my strength, my solace. Your love is unconditional and unwavering. I already know how amazing you are, I just thought you deserved for everyone else to know.