In the Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye, it will all change. Last month a friend of mine sat at my kitchen table and told me her mom passed away. She had been caregiving for 10 years. I looked hard at her face and into her eyes looking for that sign of relief. Her mom had a feeding tube and three times a day she had to feed her through her stomach, plus she had to change diapers and bathe her.

She stoically claimed she did it and she was glad she could be there for her mom, like putting that little flag on top of Mt. Everest, but she didn't reveal that look of camaraderie and support that I was hoping to see.

That look that says, hang in there, your time is coming, too. However, she immediately started talking about her future plans, her trips to Hawaii, and the rearrangements of her life. Ahhh, I thought, there it is. We can't help but exclaim it in some way.

This morning I received a text from a friend. Her mom passed away at 1:00 AM last night. I sighed.

She struggled financially with her mom this past year, trying to get assistance to put her somewhere because she was unable to take care of her at home.

She finally received the help a month ago, placed her in a home, and after all that, now her mom is gone. I already know her plans. She is putting her house on the market and moving to another state to be near her kids and grand kids. We wait and we wait and then boom, it all changes in one second.

That's exactly how it will be with my mom. I hold this place together day by day and string our lives along until at one moment her string will break and here I will be sorting through 96 years of a lifetime.

And in that moment my life will change as completely as hers. We will both be on a new journey. I have no more of an idea of how mine will turn out anymore than she does hers. It's almost like another birthing and breaking of the umbilical cord. It will set us both free.

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Thank you
by: Korina

Thank you, having sat with my 88 year old father as he 2015 I'm now visiting my 85 year old mum in hospital as Christmas approaches and she is growing more dependent and frail.

A brave insight here into your friends experiences and how yes life can change in a day....utterly completely.

Thank you for your story bless you. X

Setting Us Free
by: BH

Thank you for such a beautifully written and thoughtful post. It comes at a time when my mother's and my journey is taking such a turn and I have wondered deeply and often how others felt when they reached this point.

As your post reveals, our reactions will surely differ and who's to know what is the right or wrong reaction?

My mother (95) has lived with me the past 4 years, but my siblings and I are currently moving her into an assisted living center, because our own health issues have taken more precedence than caregiving for our mother.

In one respect I feel enormously relieved. I also feel guilt,as if I haven't done enough after all this time!

I feel an odd sense of fear, too, because somewhere in the course of caregiving I lost myself and have to find me. I'm not sure where to start.

I guess I just take one step at a time.

Thank You
by: Anonymous

This is a thoughtful, intelligent post that reflects your insight. I will feel the same.

I think there will be some grief from me when my mother goes. Mostly I'll be free and she will be too.

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