Saturday, May 16, 2009

Caregivers sometimes get "down"

Do you want to keep busy so you won’t have to be alone with yourself? Do you find yourself depressed when you are alone with your thoughts? These feelings are perfectly normal as a caregiver for an aging parent.

It is easy to go through stages of depression when you are dealing with the care of your parent on a daily basis. It is easy to busy ourselves to the point of exhaustion because it is easier than to face the fact that your parent is ailing or dying. However, the previous behavior will only add stress to your life and will add wear and tear on your mind and body.

When I found myself in a normal state of depression, I would read a book or articles on losing a parent or would call a friend. It helped me come out of the doldrums.

You need to give your mind and body time to regenerate. As you regenerate, your depression and stress will ease. During these times you might even come up with new ideas to utilize in your care-giving situation, new ways to handle your grief over losing your parent, or in having a new outlook on life.

Do you have any other ideas of things that you do, as a caregiver, when you are feeling "down"?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sundays Were Mother's Days

Sundays were special when I was growing up. This was the only day of the week my mother did not work. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen working on Sunday dinner. I rolled the dough for the pie crusts, one for my father's diabetic pie and one for the rest of us. My mother would usually make spaghetti, yes not a Spanish dish but nevertheless delicious. I would toss a salad and usually drain the spaghetti after it was cooked. My mother made the best spaghetti sauce, everyone thought so. After supper was made, we all sat down to eat. Sometimes our friends would drop by and of course they were invited to join us. Sometimes one of my friends would stop by just in time for dessert because she knew that my mother would have baked a delicious pie, coconut cream or apple or chocolate, all made from scratch.

After I got married and had my two sons, we would all go to my mother’s house for Sunday dinner. My husband was usually working so I appreciated that I could go to my mother’s house. She made an effort always to cook something that my sons liked. I would visit with my mother, nothing special; we would just sit around and talk about what was going on with my sons or me. But it was special. These were times I treasure to this day. Time spent with my mother. Time spent with her and my children.

On Sundays, after my children were off to college, I would go to my mother’s house for Sunday dinner. The meals she cooked were wonderfully delicious and we enjoyed each other's company. After supper, we would sit and visit. She would tell me what was going on with the entire family and I would tell her what was going on with my sons. She so enjoyed hearing about my sons, who she loved dearly.

When my mother became seriously ill, on Saturdays, I would go over to the house and cook for her and my father. I didn’t want to go on Sundays because subconsciously I think the memories were too painful. I knew the Sundays I so enjoyed with her were never to be again.

Sundays are a little lonely for me now. I yearn to sit next to my mother and give her a hug. I wish I could freeze those moments in time when we had so much fun together, whether it be cooking together, shopping or just visiting with one another.
As time passes after her death, I look back fondly at all those Sundays we spent together. All those times we sat down together to discuss our family, politics, my job, or whatever came to mind. I feel so grateful to have had such a wonderful, caring, giving mother. She was full of grace and dignity and always such a lady!

On Sunday and on every Mother’s Day, I thank my lucky stars for the time I had with my mother. My mother gave unconditional love and was an example of what true motherhood is. She truly deserves to be honored.