Proud to be a Monkey

Yikes, it has been a long time since I added a blog. The last month has been hectic and stressful for our family. My husband’s mother passed away suddenly and with her death came a confusing time for both of my children. For my son and daughter, this was the first time they were old enough to understand what had happened. It was very painful to watch my two kids experience the deep pain and sense of loss for the first time in their lives.

It has also been a time of watching my own mother’s decline accelerate in terms of her Alzheimer’s disease. The time I spend with her has increased in terms of her daily care but the quality of that time has decreased. She can hardly hear me and doesn’t understand most of what I say. Our conversations are limited to comments about the weather, her opinion on the food I serve (usually negative), and how my husband keeps stealing her vacuum cleaner (a crime of which he’s innocent).

During this last month I’ve watched my husband’s family deal with such a sudden and shocking loss of a mother who appeared healthy, vibrant and active. I’ve also watched my own mother carry on day after day with very little cognitive ability to understand her surroundings.

I’ve always been very close to my two kids and very involved in their lives but this last month we’ve grown even closer. We’ve watched less TV and talked more. We’ve cuddled more. We’ve spent more time playing out in the backyard. We’ve cried more and we’ve laughed more.Jumping up at sunset.

Last night as I was kissing Gracie goodnight, she gave me a big smile and told me that she would want to be as good of a mother as I am. My heart melted. I then walked into my bathroom to take a hot bath to relieve the aching muscles from having been the monkey in “monkey in the middle” for most of the afternoon.

I’m very grateful for the lessons I learned from my mother and my mother-in-law. They set the bar very high in terms of dedication and devotion to family. Whether I’m helping with homework, cheering at a basketball game, comforting a child after a nightmare,  kissing a boo-boo or just being the monkey in the middle, I hope I honor them with every action.

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