So many of us have so much on our plates: young children, jobs, and sometimes parents who need our help.
I loved my mother, but I didn’t like her very much. Needy, annoying, she had become someone I didn’t want to spend time with unless I absolutely had to. Nemesis? Definitely. Friend? Not a chance in hell.
One Sunday in October, 2002, I called 9-1-1 because Mom didn’t answer her phone. For hours, she didn’t answer her phone. Eventually, I waited outside her hall while paramedics entered her apartment, where they found her collapsed on her bathroom floor, the victim of a stroke that all but muted her voice and confined her to a wheelchair.
Just like that, my “real’ mother died and was replaced by a woman I barely knew, and I became her caregiver, who juggled her needs with those of my own two children. The experience was so profound, it inspired me to write In My Mother’s Room: A Memoir.
I had no idea what I was doing. I needed a support group, a kindred group of women with whom I could share my grief and regret, but I found none.
Plus I missed my mother. Oh, how I missed her! The ornery Irish devout Catholic who taught me just about every curse word in my vocabulary. The woman who played the piano like Liberace. The mama I’d dance with to “Little Deuce Coup” by the Beach Boys or “Hey, Good Lookin'” by Hank Williams.
I would have done anything to edit my memories of our time together, time now lost forever, and I was consumed with a guilt that kept me awake at night and gripped me with revulsion toward my selfishness.
I sincerely hope that within this blog, you will find not only information that may help you, but the support I desperately needed but couldn’t find more than ten years ago. A group not only for caregivers, but for women. Daughters. Mothers. We are all at different places in our lives, yet most of us are affected by similar societal issues.
So grab cup of coffee or a glass of wine and make yourself at home, and please feel free to share your own experience. I believe that together, we women can learn from each other and offer support to anyone who stumbles upon this blog.