A Guest Post By Dawn Justice
Please understand, When I call and check on my loved one each day, It is not because I do not trust your care for her.
It is because for the last nineteen years, My mom and I have either seen each other, And or spoken to each other, Every single day.
For the last two years, I have been her “rescuer”. Meaning, if she was having a bad day, She would call me and I would reassure her.
My dad was her primary anchor to reality, But I was her second anchor. As she slipped away, Physically touching her became My connection to her.
I expected to care for her, To the end of her days, In her home or mine, So I wouldn’t miss a “golden” moment.
My mom and I were “stay at home” moms. Why? Because we didn’t want to miss a moment. We felt we were the best caregivers, For our little ones. No one knew them better. No one could “read” our loved ones, Better than we.
As my mom has deteriorated, The similarities between caring for my little children, And caring for my mom have escalated. The nurturing and protective instincts “birthed” The moment my child took their first breath, Have erupted over my mom’s increasing vulnerability.
I expected to spend decades with my mom. But, due to circumstances beyond my control, We had to find a safe place for my mom, Because no matter, how much my daddy and I loved her, And cared for her….we couldn’t keep her safe. So, God led us to you… Believe it or not, you have become beloved to us.
Why do I call, each day, And ask the simple question, “How is she?”
It is the only way I can reach out to her, Anymore. After two years, of daily, multiple contacts, I am adrift. Rather than relieved, I am scared.
Emotionally, I see Alzheimers as “quicksand”. I see Mama in its “clutches”. I know she cannot be saved from it, But I am committed to not miss Moments where she sinks deeper. I want her to know I am there, holding her hand. She is not alone.
Every day I struggle with “anxiety”. Is she okay? Has someone checked on her. I don’t feel better until, I talk to you, And hear your wonderful voices say, “She’s good. Don’t worry, honey.” “Is her depends wet?” Yes. Not so much.
I am like a new mommy leaving her baby, At a daycare center, or caregiver’s home. I would NEVER do that, But I had to do that with my vulnerable Mommy.
After research, we chose the best! That is you! You are the best in our eyes. However, my mommy is my Siamese twin, And Alzheimer’s is separating us, And the surgery is excruciating.
I am taking baby steps. I call once a day, sometimes twice. Why? Because inside, I am certain she Feels abandoned by me, and I have To prove to myself I didn’t just put her, “in a place”.
I can’t get calls from her anymore, So I fill that void by calling you, her caregivers.
As soon, as I hear your voice and assurances, My anxiety ends for the moment. I know you are not flailing around, Trying to manage her very difficult behaviors. I know I don’t have to rush down there, To rescue her, or you. I have spent the last four years, Rescuing her or my dad. The adrenaline is there, EVERY MORNING. Rescue, is it needed?
So, when I call, and still come visit, It is not a reflection on you, You are wonderful. You are kind and compassionate. It is for me, so I can go on with my dad, In peace, knowing I have checked on her, And made myself available to you.
Thank you for your grace and kindness. Thank you for standing in the gap, When “Love was no longer enough.”
When Love is not Enough By Dawn Justice, August 22, 2016