While my birthday was amazing, the hangover I am sharing about is more of the emotional kind than one doused in alcohol. The aging process is not for the faint of heart. Oh sure, we all act like it doesn’t bother us, but watching someone you love immersed in it puts you on the front line of the cold, hard facts.
Last night, my birthday was celebrated with a few of my favorite people – my boys, the spouse, and my mother, who brought me into this world and probably, wanted to take me out on several occasions. I challenged her, not intentionally, but I was a definite learning curve for her and probably still am. Every time we are out, I witness the wicked attack of the aging process in regards to my mother. Her sadness over friend’s health issues, her fear of losing her sight, and her lose of independence in several aspects of her life provide a daunting reality.
Being a caregiver is difficult. Finding the balance between their life and your own, creates an interesting formula for trying to make everyone happy. To be completely honest, I am an imperfect daughter. I am flawed. I am human. I am doing the best I can. Hiring a special worker was key in defining this shift in our relationship and it has allowed my mother to continue to have a vibrant social life.
Sometimes, I am not as compassionate or empathetic as I should be, but last night I found myself in a capacity to simply listen. The role of a caregiver is unforgiving at times. A continuing question mark on if you are doing enough and the berating of oneself with the feeling that you have failed that person. I am not an expert, but I do know that it is vital to take care of yourself when you are in this position.
After dinner, Bryce, who is wiser than most adults I know, sat down on my bed as we rehashed the day. I am conscience of trying to be a good role model for my boys, especially in the caregiving realm of my life. I stumble A LOT, but try to make it right for all involved. I shared that I am not doing it perfect and sometimes I wonder if I am a good enough daughter. The greatest birthday gift I received yesterday was the affirmation from my son when he said, “Mom, you are a great daughter.” Sometimes we all need a little validation and a reminder that we are enough and we do enough.