Everybody Gets a Turn
In November of last year, I made the decision to move my mom to Nashville. I say I made it, because I did. She didn’t agree with my decision. She still doesn’t. She will tell you today that I kidnapped her and that she’s looking for someone to take her back to Huntsville.
After successful surgery and radiation treatment for an acoustic neuroma, it became obvious to me that I needed her closer to me so I could take better care of her. It wasn’t as obvious to mom.
She told me she had been taking care of herself for her entire life and she didn’t need any help now.
But she did.
We all need help from time to time. Nobody can make it on his or her own. I haven’t. I grew up in a very loving, Christian home. Mom and dad were always there for me. I can’t tell you the number of friends I’ve had step up for me over the years. Sooner or later, everybody needs help. In this life, everybody gets a turn.
For the last 2 years of my dad’s life, Mom took care of him around the clock. I’m not exaggerating. I don’t know how much she was able to sleep in those 24 months or so, but it wasn’t much and frankly, it took a toll on her. I will always love her for the way she loved my dad. Now, she wouldn’t change anything she did. In fact, she would have given more if there had been a way to do it. She paid a high price for her choices.
So, now, she needs me. We’ve moved her into a new apartment and gradually she’s adjusting to her new realities. For the longest time, she wouldn’t let me bring any furniture in because she wasn’t staying. Now, we at least have few pieces moved in. We have coffee most mornings and talk about things. She still doesn’t like me wearing jeans to the office. She still resents I have to make some decisions for her. The other day she told me to go to the doctor myself since I had made the appointment. Most days, however, we get along.
In our visits, I’ve noticed something new. When we’re talking about something, she’ll ask my opinion. Here’s why that’s interesting. My mother has never asked me for my opinion. Never. Why should she? She gave me my opinions in the first place. Why would she ask for things that she herself had given to me? My mom’s strong—really strong. Now, she just isn’t so sure. She’s lost a little confidence. She’s a little more hesitant to decide. She waits for me to respond. In her own way, she’s asking for help.
She needs me. That’s fine. I’m glad to be here for her. She’s always been there for me. Now, it’s my turn to be there for her.
And I am.
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