This blog is about a very special woman in my life, my mom Rosie.
Rosie always has been and still is a very funny lady. She came to the United States from Germany after marrying my dad, who was in the US Air Force. She always had a smile and a joke and was always willing to help others. She enjoy her work on the Air Force base and loved to go swimming at every opportunity. She endured some heartaches around the loss of two of my brothers, memories that I know haunt her from time to time now.
In recent years, Rosie developed dementia, which has taken away her ability to remember much of her past life and has made it hard for her to keep track of the current things going on in her life.
My family and I noticed a very rapid decline in her memory after Rosie took a fall a couple of years ago. She had some minor hairline fractures but thankfully didn’t break anything. Physically she recovered quickly, but there were things going on behind the scenes that we were unaware of. Up to that point she was very much able to take care of herself and her diabetic medical needs. After the fall, unbeknownst to us, she stopped taking her medication and her memory loss accelerated. Within a few months, it became obvious that she would need more help than we could offer her while she was living in her own place. She fought the idea of moving away from her place for months, but then realized that she was not able to handle things any longer and we moved her into our home which she has shared with my husband, our dogs and me for almost 2 years.
Any one who has taken care of a mom or dad understands the complications of parenting a parent. You become the authority figure, the caretaker, the voice of reason and the decision maker for the person who raised you. There are good days and there not so good days. There is laughter and there are tears. There is frustration on both sides and there are days where I have just wanted to run away from home, but I can’t and I wouldn’t. What’s happening to her is not her choice. I guess what hurts the most is that, outside of momentary glimpses, Rosie is no longer the person I knew and loved growing up. She has become a new and different Rosie. She calls me Mommy and my husband Daddy. She is very much child-like and letting go of my Mom was hard, but I had to do it in order to begin to understand Rosie as she is today.
This blog is my way of sharing my journey with others who may be going through the same thing. There are many funny and some sad stories, but I feel that sharing them is a way for me to deal with it all. I welcome feedback and messages from anyone who wants to share their experiences.