Where Did the Time Go?

Lillie
13040987_10154109556799890_3467476688160170650_oI've been convinced that this July will be 18 years since I moved home, due to divorce and to care for my parents. Actually July will be 19 years!  It's crazy!

When I first came home, like I said, it was because my ex and I split up. My dad had already been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and he had started losing his eyesight, but he was still able to drive. My mom had already had a stroke but was still able to care for herself and help my dad.

Shortly after I moved back and when I was still working my mom and dad went out for breakfast and to get some groceries. My dad ran a red light and was in a wreck. He lost his driver's license at that time and pretty much most of his sanity. Not being able to drive made my dad a miserable man. His eyesight continued to get worse, the Parkinson's also got worse, not to mention the dementia that went with it. All my dad's anxiety and the worry about his health was probably the reason for the next stroke my mom had. It wasn't long before I had to quit my job to to be home with my parents, to care for my dad because there was no way my mom could do it alone.

A year and a half later my dad's Parkinson's and dementia was full blown. We couldn't keep my dad in the house, he wanted to be outside 24 hours a day. Late at night would be the worse time, he would get so confused and his arms and legs would flail. It was so hard to see. It was very stressful on all of us -- my parents, my young boys and myself.

My dad ending up in a nursing home then and continued to go down hill. He died less than one year later at the age of 79.

That was 2003. Since then I have been here with my mom. Life has been a constant up and down. Every year she had a hospital stay for one reason or another, until just this last year, no hospital stays. My mom has had multiple strokes, she has limited mobility on her right side, she drags her right leg when she walks and has no control over her right hand and arm unless she is holding on to the walker, walking. She also has hammer toes on her right foot.

My mom has been hospitalized and treated for dehydration, urinary tract infections, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and a few ugly falls. My mom has not had a stroke in 10 years so, for the shape she is in, she is in good shape.

I have been able to have a few part time jobs in the past because I was able to leave my mom alone. I would prepare her meals and leave them in the fridge so she could just take them out and warm them or eat them. My mom is no longer able to do that because she isn't able to stand alone without the aid of the walker. It isn't possible for her to carry or transport her food from one place to another.

In the past two years my mom has went from eating meals at the kitchen table to eating on a TV tray at the side of her bed or in the living room while sitting in her recliner. The recliner sets up on bricks so she can't recline though. I fix all my mom's meals, help her bathe, help her dress and administer her meds.

In the past 19 years my mom has become my best friend, my constant companion. We spend every day together. We laugh and talk, we watch "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune." My mom has schooled me on all the old actors and actresses in all the old movies on TCM.  Mom and I have watched every corny movie that comes on LMN. My mom loves looking at pictures and posts on Facebook and Instagram. She stays up to date with all the grandkids that way.

I actually don't know where I was going with this post when I started, except to say that it's been 19 years and that is really such a short time. I would be blessed to have 19 more years with my mom. She is basically healthy and happy and will be 90 years old come November.

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