The Source

My mother swimming on possibly her first power boat outing.
Mid June 2016, moderate stage of her FTD.
Okay, so here it is. My mother and I never really had a truly, undeniably close relationship. True, we were always on great terms (well, because my mother has always been good). We were just never extremely close like "hug and call each other all the time" type of close. I would still call my mom to tell her things now and again and I remember how excited she was at the prospect of becoming a grandmother for the first time. She spent money on a crib and was beside me at the birth of her first grand child. That was the type of relationship we had. She came to visit when I was in Kansas during my husband's time in the Army. There were a lot of things that we did together, but there was still something missing in our relationship.

So exactly what is it that really and truly makes me so angry with her illness? What is it that truly leaves me feeling unbelievably sad? If I didn't have this intense close relationship with my mother why am I so torn up inside?

Well, a few years before the official diagnosis of my mother's FTD we were not terribly close, meaning we did not see each other on a regular basis. In my heart of hearts I knew that something was not right with her. This wasn't the reason for my distance. The little family my husband and I created began to grow. We had two additional daughters in three years since my husband's return home from college in Arizona. Our three year old was an induced birth due to my preeclampsia. She was a tiny baby at birth who was very cholic-y and needed a lot of attention. Then we welcomed a surprise fourth child into our life after the birth control (I thought was permanent) failed. Then four months after that, we were all in a traumatic car accident. My mother was put on the back burner as I began picking up the pieces of my life (a work in progress).

I was in denial. I did not want to believe that my mother was mentally digressing as bad as I believed she was, but when I heard that she had gone walking off one day in search of her boy friend who was next door, I knew that I had to do something. To make matter's worse, the bills that she had been paying were not being paid. She had written checks that had no money to back them up. I knew that I would be inheriting a work load. Perhaps this is what partly left me apprehensive about facing the truth.

I am terrified. I have the greatest love and four beautiful children. The thought of ending up where my other is brings me to my knees with sadness and fear. What if one day my husband has to care for me this way? What if one of these days I won't get to grow old with the man of my dreams? I do not want to loose the memories of my husband, the feelings I have when I am close to his skin and taking in his kisses.

My husband was the one who suggested it first, that my mother come and move in with us. We already had a family of 6, but he professed his love and spoke about family caring for family. For this, I will remain forever grateful. This is slowly becoming the norm for our lives, a family of 7. I am thankful that my mother will be well taken care of, I am grateful that my husband is there to help me with my mother (doctor's appointments when I am too ill), I am grateful for the best days that we can give my mother.

I am exhausted (mentally and physically). I am not looking forward to my mother's decline. I would be lying if I said that I was prepared for her to decline while I am trying to be a wife, mother, and college student. I am so far from being clear about how to go about juggling all the duties I have had thrust upon me. I wish that I had the answers to how to make things better, but I am still learning.


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