Recent reality check. Being thankful that mom is still alive.

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I have been the sole caregiver to my aging parent, mother age 86, who has been on a very long road to recovery from heart surgery during 2009 and has been living with me and my roommate since October 2011. A few days ago, one of my best friends informed me that her mother has passed away. This was a shock as no one expected this. Her mother was a very active senior until recently but I always thought how lucky my friend is that she can have her own life and visit her mom but not have to be a 24/7 caregiver. Quite honestly, although I do not feel I am a "jealous" person, I envied my friend's independence and her being able to travel and enjoy life. So this has given me a "reality" check. Life is precious and although I get the typical caregiver emotions (depression/anger/resentment) I am trying very hard to deal with those emotions and remain grateful that my mom is doing so much better but will never again be able to live independently. It's very difficult. I work full-time and frankly just want the freedom to take some vacations but this is all finite and will not be my life forever. I am 62 and pretty healthy. My life is ho hum with an aging parent living with me and never what I ever expected. I just hope that I can remember this recent reality check. It will help me to keep things in perspective. I feel so sad for my friend and kind of guilty that I have so wondered how I could be as fortunate as she who seemingly to me has it all (looks/finances/intelligence) etc. Now her mother is being buried this weekend and my mom is downstairs doing very well. Just wanted to share this with the support group and to also thank you all for your posts and for being there.

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Sometimes we need a reality check or just a good night's sleep. Either way, we will cherish the memories of caring for our loved one long after they are gone. Good luck to you musiclover ~ kuli
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Musiclover, glad your mom is doing well. As caregivers, it is difficult to appreciate our parents when caring for them as it does often consume us and interferes with our ability to live as we imagined we would be living. Like, you said, sometimes we need a wake up call of reality check to remind us how much we love them.
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musiclover....don't feel bad about your emotions (envy-jealousy) that you had towards your friend. I don't think it's uncommon. I've heard others say they are jealous because a parent or both parents have passed while their friends' or inlaws' parents are still around. It actually tells me that you care...that your mother and her life matters. I applaud your love and devotion to her. When I lost my mother unexpectedly at 84 almost 2 years ago, I was actually surprised and disheartened to learn that there are some people out there that seem to look at an ailing parent and/or the death of a parent as being a distraction to their lives. I would guess they weren't a close family, perhaps dysfunctional, or simply lack compassion. I think the fact that you have provided a home and care for her has contributed greatly to her well-being and life at 86.

I am proud of you. Job well done!
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You hang in there and continue to stay as positive as you can, believe me if you outlive your Mother, which you probably will, I"m here to tell you , you will be so grateful for being there for her, your heart will literally burst for this opportunity to give your Mom this care/LOVE! I'm 69 years, my Mom passed July 15, 2012 after 2 1/2 years of being in and out of the hospital, rehab, and home. I had to fight twice to get her back home from the rehab facility and twice from the hospital, some Dr's and rehab centers medical caregivers don't want you to bring your loved one home! There was never any doubt in my mind as to weather I could take care of my Mother with some assistance(Had Excellent Assistance), everyone cannot do what I did and I am so grateful and thankful to the Lord that I am/was in Good health and also worked 7 years of my working life in a care facility. I had some ups and downs because family members that were able to help did not step up to the plate as they promised. And yes it did restrict my freedom but the majority of the time I was at least able to go to church and a few other functions here in the city. Again I really can't express how thankful I am that I was able to keep Mom at home the majority of time during her illness! My biggest ordeal was how she was cared for both in the hospital and the rehab center and how I had to almost force them to let me bring her home. The time I was able to spend with her made me so Happy, because she was so HAPPY and so glad to be able to stay in her own HOME!!!
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Working as a professional care provider with siblings caring for family in another state.
Often times I am perplexed at the emotions I experience for the loved ones of persons who are not family of origin.
Actually relieved to know that there are concerned family members willing to care for each other both of family here in the state where I live and the state where family of origin reside.
There are times that I misss being there in another state to care for them in person, but then I realize that the budget I am limited to makes it impossible.
What alot of planning it requires to travel to another state. So I keep things in perspective for now. Although I am often faced with mixed emotions.
The very best thing family can do for me in my absence is report they are communicating with one another which I question. As memory serves they are not to willing to discuss lifes challenges as they arise.
Thanks for the topic.
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