Today was the first day of grief therapy. Kudos to Mark Tripodi and Corner Stone of Hope. Seasons Hospice did not fulfill their responsibility to provide the support during my mother’s care or after. Although I did learn to find out they reached out to my brother Joel, yet there were three surviving children, and I specifically asked for support, not Joel or Gary. There is something wrong with this picture. However, the resourceful person that I am, I reached out to Mark and today I met with a remarkable therapist by the name of Laura.
Now, for those of you who are reading this shaking your head and asking why do I need grief therapy, my question back to you is why are you asking?
It is true that I am blessed that my mother’s massive stroke provided me the opportunity to spend 2 ½ months by my mom’s side to get to know her (and myself) in a way I never expected. The 2 ½ months healed so many open wounds for me, and yet has confused me and keeps me asking why did it take me so long to open my eyes, my heart and my soul to this beautiful woman called MOTHER. As a mother, myself, I know that it is very easy to make mistakes and to appear to be the evil one even when you are trying your best. My mother made her share of errors but then again, she didn’t have a manual or any instructions on what to do and when she did what she could and what she thought was best at the time. Sadly, I didn’t always give her credit for being one of the best moms a girl could have. Instead, I heard what I thought she was saying instead of what she said with love.
I finally gave my mother my unconditional love and accepted hers when she had her stroke. I focused on what I had to do for myself, and in taking care of my mother, initially it was for selfish reasons. I was there because I needed to bond with her and not let her leave this life without knowing how much I love her. I was determined to ensure that she was cared for in as perfect a manner as possible. I hovered over her caregivers and some I fired without warning. I knew what my mother needed, and if TLC and respect were not part of the package those individuals did not belong around this woman who brought me into the world that I was going to help usher her out from.
Not only did my mother change overnight from her massive stroke, but each day there were changes. Just like Cookie Monster loves his Chocolate Chip Cookies, my mother loved her watermelon. Watermelon became her food of choice, and when we didn’t purchase it already cut into cubes, I would cut up a whole melon into cubes for her and store in containers, and she ate them all.
My mother also had a passion for coconut cream pie, and before she lost her appetite I went to her favorite pie store, there is one in Southfield, Michigan, and I bought her a slice of coconut cream pie which we savored.
Mom and I connected on other levels too besides food; we talked about the old days, and she told me about her childhood. She shared about her father leaving her mother and her older sister behind in Russia to come to America and returning to get my Baube only to find he now had two daughters.
There were many stories she shared including the one about the guy she wanted to fix me up with, not realizing I was her daughter as we spoke. The guy was this fellow who was bugging her to marry him, come to find out; he was my dad. Also, he only bothered her for a month because they met in late April and they were married in June.
For weeks, my mother was very busy as she lay in bed, her hands would work away, and she would talk to people some I remember from the past and others well, I’m not sure who they were. But mom knew, and she was completing tasks from years gone by. My mother was always involved in something, whether one of us kids put her up to it or my dad volunteered her or she chose it on her own. From working a full-time job to volunteer work as well as helping friends and family she had hobbies and crafts that she did non-stop.
The time I spent with my mom I relived her lifetime and part of mine. I rekindled my relationship with my brother, spending days and hours with him and my cousins and their friends. I reunited with school friends from 40 plus years ago, and it felt like just yesterday we were walking down the street and yakking about something. And the new friends I met, my mother’s neighbors and her caregivers became my lifeline, and I needed them as much if not more than my friends back home.
However, when I got back home, all I had was my husband and my son and my long-distance connections, and I felt incomplete. That is why I chose grief counseling; I need to be complete. It’s not about getting over the grief it’s about working through the grief!
Please take a moment to listen to the beginning our series:
Please continue to follow our series and check out: https://myimpossibledreamah.wordpress.com