Friday, April 25, 2014

I need to write today - about my mom

Thank you, Ron, for your post today.  It reminded me of why I started writing and made me realize that other than a very few people, I don't really talk about Keven anymore.  Its not healthy to hold it all in.  Writing is always risky because you may not like some of the comments you get, but the benefits are worth it.

So here I am.  Not even sure if anyone still reads but that's ok.  Its not about that.  The last 4 months have been tough for my family because of my mom's cancer.  The chemo took a lot out of her, but it did the job of getting the mass of cancer cells away from her heart.  So no more chemo.  But then she got a lung infection and was hospitalized for a few days and has been on oxygen ever since.  She had a clear chest x-ray so we're hoping she can get rid of it soon to give her a bit more freedom.  I can see how much better she's feeling since the chemo stopped.

I've had an interesting relationship with my mother over my lifetime.  It was not very good for the most part.  As a child she was not there for me - she was physically present and provided all my basic needs, but she I always felt like she didn't really like me and felt very alone.  Then my father died when I was 15 and that really put a huge gap between us.  As the oldest I had already taken on a lot of parenting responsibilities when my father got cancer (cancer treatment was VERY different in the 70's than today - in some ways it seemed barbaric the way they cut my dad open again and again and again).

During my teen years it seemed that my mother and I hated each other.  She even told me once that she wished I'd never been born, and another time that she wished I'd wreck my car and die (as I walked out of the house with a beer in my hand to go party with some friends....I did a lot of crazy shit back then, lots of drinking and lots of drugs...luckily I don't have the disease of addiction, I just thought it was "fun").

After Keven was born we had out ups and downs, mostly downs, but I saw a subtle change in her, she became a bit softer toward me.  Years of therapy and reflection has already got me to a place where I could totally forgive her and understand that she was doing the best she could considering her own mother was a horrible woman (who abused me...but that's another story).

When the drug addiction started I saw a complete change in my mom.  It didn't happen overnight but somehow the reality that her grandson, who she helped raise since his birth, might die before her...well that really got to her.  At first she was just pissed off but slowly I shared my knowledge with her and I could see her opening her mind and she now has a very clear awareness of  what addiction is and what it does.

I've become her main "caretaker" (she doesn't need much care, but I'm the one that does the doctor visits, etc. etc.) and not only is she open to me in that role, she appreciates it.  The other day my aunt told me that my mother told her about how strong I am and that I was holding things together while everyone else fell apart.  I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE SAID THAT, IT MADE ME FEEL SO GOOD COMING FROM HER.  I don't care that \she didn't say it to my face, the fact that she said it is good enough for me.

So here we are.  She turns 90 next month.  We are finally in a close, loving relationship and she probably won't be around for too many more years.  But we are HERE.  We made it!  We got past all the bullshit of the past and when she does pass away....I know she will know how much I love her, and I will know the same.

Pretty cool.  I have to wonder if we would have come this far if it weren't for Keven's issues.  Maybe there is a bit of a silver lining\ on that very dark and ugly cloud.

Oh, and of course there's this:  a baby always does wonders for any family!  LOL, I love this little one! She makes me smile and laugh!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara