This is a guest post by the author of Judys Caregiver’s blog , Mariah Kissel
Taking Care of an Aging Parent
My name is Mariah Kissel and I love my mother. She has always been there for me. I was never a sweet little girly girl , and as teenage daughters go, lets just say my parents had there hands full. My mom and dad where constantly fixing my mistakes and covering my butt. When I was in the sixth grade, my class was going to put on a show for the PTA. It was a medley of songs from the Sound of Music. Everyone in our class got to be in the show but only a few were selected to be a Von Trapp child. My teacher was picking the last Von Trap girl and it was between myself and one other student. She told us to bring in a costume on Thursday and she would pick the girl with the best one. Well, of course I waited to tell my mother the costume part until Wednesday night. “If I dont get this part I will die.” Yes I was a mellow dramatic child. I think I cried myself to sleep that night because my mother didn’t rush out to find the perfect dress for me. The next morning I woke up and there it was. The perfect dress hanging on my bedroom door. My mother had stayed up all night sewing together this amazing costume out of scrap fabrics she had laying around her craft room. I got the part in that show because of her talents, not mine.
My mother was always doing things like that for my sister and I. I cannot think of one major event in my life that she wasn’t a part of . When I wanted to move to California she helped me find an apartment and helped pay the bills for said apartment. A year later when I called, begging her to come get me because I couldn’t take LA anymore, she drove four hours in a U-Haul with my dad, packed me up and moved me back to Las Vegas and back into her house. That was just the first of many, many, many times that I would move back in with dear old mom and dad. She was there when I got married and when I got divorced. This amazing woman was even in the delivery room when I had both my children. Katelin in 94 and Jacob in 96. she was the best grandmother. I never had to buy a Halloween costume for my children. Whatever they wanted to be she would make it happen. They were her pride and joy. Even when I told her I was once again getting married, she helped plan the most exquisite wedding. I guess you could say she was as perfect a mom as you can get. She was my best friend.
I Never thought in a million years that all of that care, love, happiness and friendship could be gone in an instant. So when I got that call, that devastating call. The one that said my mother was sick, confused and alone. The call that said she would need 24 hour care for the rest of her life, I can honestly say that there was no hesitation in making my decision. A decision that would change both her life and mine. My mother spent 35 years taking care of me and it was time for me to return the favor. I became my mother’s caregiver right then and there. Caring for a sick aging parent is the hardest thing I will probably ever have to do, but no matter how hard it can get I wouldn’t change my decision to take care of the woman who always took care of me.
In my blog, you will get a glimpse of what it is like to be Judy’s caregiver and daughter. The good, the bad, the funny…The not so funny. I’m not here to give great advice, all though I might try from time to time. I’m just here to let the hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters taking care of their parents know that they are not alone.