A Mother’s Day tribute to my hero

By Cynthia Wilson

Why does your mother live with you?

I get that question a lot.  I usually tell folks it’s because she’s blind and has some other health issues. Here are  some other reasons I never mention.

I owe everything I have to God and her.

She didn’t tell me baby’s come from the stork.

When I was 14 and asked her if she loved me, she said.  “Don’t be stupid.  I’m your mother.  Of course I love you.”  Then after some thought, she apologized and said that’s not a good enough answer.  “A lot of mother’s don’t love their children,” she said. “Yes, I love you.”

After all the conversations we had about why it’s not good for a girl to date an older guy, she calmly listened when I was 16-years old and afraid to tell her that I wanted to date a 22-year old man. She cautioned me against the relationship, but confessed that she liked an older man when she was 16  and envisioned marrying him.  Within a week I was over the crush, but I learned to trust that I could tell her things she might not want to hear and survive.

She had three children but no obvious favorite.  Mom let each of her kids know at one time or another that we got on her nerves.

I couldn’t see myself living more comfortably than her knowing that she, with faith in God, was the reason I could live comfortably.

When I told her I was quitting my job, selling my house (an accomplishment many folks we knew hadn’t been able to) and going back to school, she didn’t weigh me down with her own anxiety.  After listening to my plan she simply said, “Okay.” There was no second-guessing, no further discussion.

She never told me that I couldn’t do what I wanted or that it would be too hard it achieve.

She was the aunt all the cousins wanted to have at their graduation because she understood the value of education and would appreciate their accomplishment.

She never said you need a man to take care of you.

She never said or implied, “You disappoint me.”

Her mother died when she was less than a week old, but she figured out how to be a good mother and shares her wisdom with me.

She taught me to develop my own style, not the latest trends.

I love her.

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I'm a working wife and mom who takes care of an aging parent. Only I began doing it full-time, in my home, when I was in my mid-thirties, single and about to make a career change. Thirteen years later, mom is still living with me and I expect it to be that way until one of us leaves this earth. It hasn't always been easy managing her care. (I've helped my mother recover from surgery, and a major injury that required a nursing home stay, as well as the death of my younger brother after a long illness.) But caring for her has been worth it because I know that my assistance means she enjoys a better quality of life as she ages. I hope the experiences and information that I share will help you manage,with grace, the changes that take place in your life as you assume the responsibility of being your parent's caregiver. If you have a question you think I can answer, please contact me at Cynthia@motherskeeper.com

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