I am trying these days, to remind myself, that she is not just a person who lives upstairs. She is not just someone who needs a taxi ride to 15+ doctor’s appts. every week as her health deteriorates. She isn’t just someone who shows up for meals and then leaves without helping to clean up, who spills her sugar and coffee in the early morning and leaves a trail of tissues throughout the house, as if she needs a trail to follow back to her bedroom.
She is all of these things, but she is also, most importantly, my mother. She gave birth to me, she worked hard to give us the things we needed. We didn’t always have much, but we were never cold or hungry.She took care of me during my stupid teenage years. The car accident, my broken hearts and big decisions that she didn’t agree with, but stood by me anyway.
As both my sister and I had children as teens – obviously neither learning from the other – we never would have made it without the support of my mother and father, They took care of us so that we could take care of our children. and when my bi-polar basket case self wasn’t able to care for my son the way I should have been, she stepped up.
It is becoming more and more difficult these days. I admit there are days when I feel so much pressure and stress that I don’t think all the crazy meds in the world could help me. There are days I look at the calendar and think “Just one week without a dr. appt would be nice”. There are times I think that this is more stressful than it was living apart from my husband with two very young children while trying to sell a house.
My mother has always said she thinks of me as cold or hard hearted. As my moods go through their daily roller coaster fueled by the bi-polar monster that lives in my brain, I tend to be even more stand offish and cold hearted has turned to ice. She always thinks I am angry, but really, I am just trying to shut it all down or the emotional side is going to get the better of me. I am afraid of how that will turn out..maybe in the corner of the closet sucking my thumb… a straw in a bottle of vodka… find someone to go Thelma and Louise with.
What I do know, though, is that the woman who lives upstairs is my mother – not just someoen who is here to make my life complicated. I know we don’t have much more time with her ..I hope my sons and the rest of our family realize this, too, before it is too late.
I love you mommy.