The Title of “Mother”

13 May

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers reading this.  I cannot think of anything that has meant more to me than being a mother…

I awoke this morning feeling a little down.  With my mother gone for 8 years, my husband now in a facility, and my daughter thousands of miles away, it just seemed lonesome.  I am most grateful for having had a great relationship with my mom and having my husband and daughter, although not home, still a part of my life, however.  I am also grateful for my little cat who reached out and touched my chin this morning as if to say, Happy Mother’s Day!

I miss my mother, of course.  I think of her all of the time and wish I could pick up the phone and chat with her to feel her love and support — especially through these challenging Alzheimer years.  I have her picture in a special place today and have both my daughter and my husband’s picture displayed with it.

My daughter now has her own life with a wonderful husband.  I am so happy that they have each other but do miss having them closer in proximity.  Our communication is mostly through email, texts and occasional phone chats.  I treasure them, of course, but realize my role is not as prominent now that her life has an energy of its own.  I know, however, that a mother’s love goes on forever and being her mother — whether near or far — is still the greatest blessing I have in my life!

I also realize that, with Alzheimer’s, I have become a mother to my husband who now looks to me for everything — just like children do with their mothers. I know how much he depends on me.  He occasionally calls me “Mother” upon which I quickly correct him.   I don’t want to think of myself as his mother.  His mother only deserves that honor and, as his wife, it just doesn’t feel right!  I prefer, instead, the name he calls me when talking to others as, “his lady.” Whether he remembers my given name or not,  I am not his mother and take pride in being his lady.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I enjoy memories about my mother and the joyful moments of celebrating Mother’s Day with my daughter via telephone many miles away.   And as far as my husband with Alzheimer’s, I continue to see my role as a loving wife, care-partner, and his lady.

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2 Responses to “The Title of “Mother””

  1. Gloria Fine May 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    You are a special lady!

  2. boomer98053 May 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Thank you for writing so poignantly about being a Mother, Wife, and Daughter. The role that a wife plays as caregiver to her spouse/partner is a difficult one to be sure. I facilitate an Alzheimer’s Caregiver support group in the Seattle, WA area and was so touched – even with humor – by what one caregiver told my group:
    My husband doesn’t recognize me any more but he seems pretty comfortable living with me. I finally realized he didn’t recognize me when he politely said to me, ‘You’re a nice lady and all, but I’m not having sex with you. I’m a married man!’
    I guess humor can be found from time to time but it doesn’t completely balance out the difficulties experienced by the caregiver.

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