Lately, mom has been actually doing really well. Really surprisingly well according to the hospice nurses. I am watching mom be her perky self like she has always been. Despite the pain getting worse in her hip, she has been in good spirits. Of course a home cooked meal always helps the soul. I use to cook for them all the time, but since we had been traveling, I hadn’t been doing it like I should.
In this time that mom has been doing well, I have been able to think about me. What I am going to do with my life. Not just now, but in the long run. I am 36 and still can’t pinpoint what I want to do with my life. When growing up, I always wanted to follow my mom’s footsteps. She was a nurse and I wanted become either a respiratory therapist or a surgical nurse. Well, my body didn’t cooperate. I am a semi-amateur photographer, and I do some photo sessions, but nothing even close to what a pro does. I also do crafts, but I know I can’t make what would be a livable wage because I would never have any family time. I wanted to become a teacher, but for some reason I became scared and never went back to finish school, but have done substitute teaching and I love it. Then, I started writing. I have been told I have a gift for it. I use to write a lot of poems in high school, and even wrote a poem for my father-in-law’s funeral that people loved. I now have an idea and still am trying to figure out how to go about it. I want to take my journey into caregiving and make it into something everyone who has been through a journey themselves can relate to. Not just dementia, but cancer, heart issues, disabilities of any kind. I want to help people that are in my position now. This journey has been a growing experience for me. I am not the same person I was when this all started.
When this journey started, I was a mess. I mean literally, a mess. I remember when I was a non-medical caregiver for Visiting Angels, I had a couple I came to help, the lady had dementia. I was so heart broken by how she was. I remember that first day I had her, I called my mom and told her to please not get it. I will never forget that conversation. Then the day I got the call that mom had it, I believe a part of me died. Now, almost 2 years (wow, its already been that long??!!) later, though I still have my battles, I am a much stronger, more compassionate person. But, don’t take that for me taking bull crap from anyone. That fuse is much, much shorter. I wish I had someone like who I am now, back when my father-in-law was dying. I was 23, had a 2 yr old son, and I was alone in caring for him. My husband was there, but I did most of it. Now, I have found several caregiving groups on Facebook and those people have helped me so much in the past year or so. I am wanting to extend what people have given to me, to them. Having someone to lean on that is not a part of the current situation is vital.
So why my title, new beginnings? Its time for a new one for me. I have come to realize it is time for me to step out of my comfort zone. I need a new me. I need to help people like I wish people would have helped me in the past. I know where I need to be in my life, now it is the journey just to get there.