I sit here thinking about what this title means. I sit here wondering if anyone will ever be able to understand what I mean by this. I worry about the judgment that may be passed from this, but it’s what I feel is true. It’s what I feel in my heart, it’s the thoughts that run into my mind and the sadness that fills my memories. My mom is not my mom, and that’s okay.
(If you’ve followed me for a bit, you know my situation with my mom, if not feel free to check out the mom tag!)
My mom used to be independent, she hated waited on people to do things for her. Her motto was “if you want something done the right way, do it yourself.” She’d wake up early on the weekends to clean house and would jam Pitbull, singing at the top of her lungs. She’d only watch scary movies during the day when it was still bright out.
Narcisse by Chloe was always her go-to perfume, but had recently been benched because of La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme. Her eyeliner was always sharp as heck; she rocked a mean winged liner!
Super supreme pizza was her weakness and guilty pleasure. She loved going to church and continuously thanking for all the blessings we’d receive. Others always came first to her, she was always there with a helping hand.
She’d play with my hair when days were bad. We’d sit in silence but enjoy each other’s company. Our entire family would always somehow end up in my parents bedroom hanging out, talking about anything and everything.
My mom didn’t deserve this. My mom deserved so much more than this. People always tell me “This is God’s plan for her!” But how am I supposed to believe in that when I see her suffering everyday? She went from being independent and not relying on anyone to having us do everything for her. I know it kills her having to live this way, I can see it in her eyes.
Some days she wears a smile but if you just look at her, you can feel the sadness. My mom is the first person I think of when I wake up, and the last person I think of when I go to bed. I see my mom slowly losing time and I know she hates it more than anything.
She doesn’t like the same things she used to. She doesn’t even act the same anymore. Who she was died the moment she had her stroke. I look at her and I know she’s my mom, but at the same time… she isn’t.
I spend every day with her from 5 AM to whenever my dad gets off from works, sometimes that’s until 9 PM. I know her like the back of my hand; what makes her happy, what makes her sad, what she wants, what she needs. We watch Netflix all the time, she usually falls asleep in the middle of it all. And though she seems peaceful and relaxed, my heart is racing and I feel my body become overwhelmed with anxiety.
My biggest fear is losing my mom. I constantly check on her and wake her up when she’s napping just to make sure she’s okay. I can’t help it, I can’t relax without knowing she’s fine. Sometimes even just napping, especially when she’s having a rough day, makes me worried. I’m worried about falling asleep and her needing me and I’m not there because I’m asleep. I worry that she’ll leave me in her sleep so I always try to tell her that I love her, no matter if she thinks it’s annoying.
I took on a role that most 20 year olds wouldn’t do. A role that not even most grown adults would do. I’m taking care of my mom, my dad, my brother and my sister. I try my best to run things the way she used to, but I could never be her.
For a while the idea and thought of my mom’s progression seemed unrealistic, out of reach almost. Now, I see that it’s possible but deep in my heart I know she’ll never be the same person she was before. Her initial doctors tried to pass off her stroke as something minor, but it wasn’t. The stroke my mother had usually results in death… It’s a miracle that she’s still with us.
I know that she’s defied odds and has bounced back further than some have expected but that doesn’t make my worrying go away. I live in a constant state of worry and anxiety. I wish I could close my eyes and warn her before it happened. I wish I could go back and tell her “Hey, what you’re experiencing isn’t in your head. Go get checked out! Please just be safe!”
Today, I drove my sister to cheer practice. We kissed our mom goodbye, her eyes filled with tears. I approached a red light and saw an ambulance in the distance; the sound of it made my body feel on fire. I felt myself tense up, my eyes began to swell with tears. “Sometimes, I just wanna follow them to see what’s going on.” I snapped back into reality and remember that day vividly. Cars passing by, people staring, people knowing what happened before we even said anything. It felt so invasive, so heartbreaking.
As I sat there waiting for practice to end, I realized that my mom will never be my mom again and I’ve learned that’s okay. She’ll always be my mama, and we’ll make new memories but I have to remember this is all entirely new. Not only is it new to me, my siblings and our dad, but new to our mom too. I cannot expect her to be the mom she was before, I can only hope that she’s the mom she wants to be at this moment in time.
I kiss my mom goodnight, a smile appears on her face. As I walk back to my room I hear my parents laughing and acting silly, but I lie in bed and begin to think, my mom is not my mom… and that’s okay!
The featured photo belongs to the blogger, Lo. [These thoughts are my own, I want/ed to share with my family and friends on Facebook, however that’s not been decided yet. But if it has, and you’re reading this, please refrain from telling me that what I feel is wrong, for you are not the one living this life I’m living!]