A 3-month follow up: Caring for my step-mother.
I found out in early August my amazing stepmother was diagnosed with dementia in Aug. of 2020 and never told the family. We lost my Dad in 2016, they were very happy, very in love. We found out about my stepmom when my nephew visited her last month and saw her world was upside down with all the common signs in terms of the condition of her normally spotless home, local family taking advantage of her, and bills not being paid. She lives about 12 hours from me in the mountains. My stepbrother and I immediately drove up to secure her home and stabilize her as best we could. I will now be continuing to coordinate home healthcare for her safety, take her to doctor’s appointments, and enjoy my time with her.
My purpose in sharing this is that without my beautiful time spent in your collective love and care, I don’t think I would have been able to feel the physical joy that comes with caring for her while she is most vulnerable. I believe my task oriented self would have taken over keeping me busy doing the right thing by her in a very operational sense and I would have started accumulating pain. It has been difficult for me to sleep while here, I awoke one morning around 2:00 am and just sat in the living room and cried, overcome by what an honor this is, sad she is slipping away, missing my Dad. I had the realization, a strong intuition I may be some type of doula for her during this journey.
My experience with you both cleared so much of my vessel leaving lots of capacity to allow all this sadness, grief, anger, and love to flow through me. Because I am “Fucking Infinite!” 😉
I am always listening to my playlist you curated for us. My stepmom hums constantly, which is part of the illness, and when I play music in the house, which I do often knowing it is good for her (and me), she stops humming. As the universe would have it, the titles contained in my personal playlist foreshadowed this place: Truth Descending, Opening, Echoes of Healing, An Ending, Small Memory, A Further Look at Loss. Where I always find comfort in my playlist, it is now like a blanket wrapping around both me and my beautiful stepmom.
The days are long, hard, gratifying, and scary for me. The joy is immense, though there are times I feel incredibly lost and shaky. I am so grateful for you both and the amazing gifts you give to the world. Any reminders for me are welcome as you know the corners of my heart. I love you both!