Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I have never been the biggest in every little holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas (mainly for the lights and decorations) and Halloween is big for me. Since I have been married I have been celebrating Mother's Day more. The husband will usually get something for his mom or cook her dinner. Going out is not an option since A) it is crazy busy out in the world on that day and 2) his mother is super picky about where she will eat out.

Last year my mother died. I usually sent her a card on mothers day and would call since we lived hundreds of miles away. I had an interesting relationship with my mother. For the majority of my life I was the parent. Raising a mom is tough. They don't listen. They make all the wrong decisions. They don't do their chores. They are a handful. Especially my mother.

Even from a very young age I knew my mother was not like other moms. She was not too good at cooking or cleaning. She didn't make me bathe or brush my hair. She spent a lot of time laying on the couch. When your in elementary school you don't know about depression.

She had her moments too. She was funny. She would do anything for anyone. She was a good person, with a good heart. She drove a huge station wagon that would start without a key. She didn't yell a lot. She let us have a dog and a cat. She tried her best.

She also was physically and mentally abused by my father. Her depression was very deep. She always had to "lay down." I didn't know about abuse either since they didn't teach that in school. I realized that wasn't normal the more time I spent around other kids. I didn't have people over much. Eventually after leaving twice we were free of my father. Yet things didn't get to be normal.

It wasn't until I was in my teens that we got a name for what was different about my mother. She was diagnosed with Manic Depression (the 80s diagnosis) for what is now the trendy diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Throughout my childhood she was in a deep depression. In my teens she went to the manic end of the spectrum and was hospitalized in a CSU. Finally I had a name for it.

Over the years she was in and out of CSUs, or as she called it, her vacations. She continued to be up and down through the years. She got to the point where she couldn't care for herself and at age 65 she went into a nursing home. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Towards the end of her life she became very delusional. We thought it was her mental illness since she had delusions over the years. At the end the delusions and the Parkinson's got her. She was ready to go. She was in pain, she was tired, she was wanting to die.

Almost a year ago my mother died. I didn't talk to her much in her last year due to the delusions and the nursing home taking away the phone due to her falling out of bed repeatedly to reach it. I did have a good talk with her about 6 months before she died. She was lucid and in between hospital admissions. I will always remember something she said when we were talking about my husband. She said, "I wish I could have gotten to know him better." She only met him once and she loved him. I agree, I wish she could have gotten to know him. But she knew he was a good guy or else I wouldn't have married him.

Although it was incredibly sad and difficult for the whole family, in the end my mother was ready to go. She had a hard life, at least during my lifetime. She had multiple medical problems. She wasn't able to get around due to her hips. She was not herself once the delusions took over. That is why I think about how she is better off now that she is not suffering. Sometimes when our littlest dog starts acting funny and like something has scared her I wonder if maybe she is haunting us, in her own way.

I have this witch puppet. When I saw it in the store I thought it looked like my mother - the grey hair and large nose. I sent her this picture of it I found on the company who makes them's website and she thought it was funny. If only I could mimic her voice then the puppet could come to life. 

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