Where Have I Been, And Where Am I Going?

On July 1, 2007, my family and I will no longer be residents of Chicago, IL and instead will be relocating to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. This move isn't the result of running away from a gang-riddled neighborhood, but the result of a mother's medical decline instead.

No, I am not talking about my own decline, which has kept me from writing by the way. But instead the decline of my Mother's health and her need for her daughter to come home and take on the task of taking care of her.

My mother suffers from Alzheimer's and the hardest part of this journey will be to watch a brilliant woman deteriorate into not knowing who I am and how she helped to shape the person I am today. My children will not understand the last stages of this disease and my nieces and their children will probably rather to remember her in her glory than to visit her in her dementia and have that image of her imprinted on their memories. For that I cannot blame them.

I went through the same feelings with my own Grandmother. (My Mother's Mother) But I managed to block out the dementia and remember her for her brilliance of herbs and her cooking. To this day, when I smell lavender, I remember her smiling face and the way she would allow me to dig in the dirt with her best silver-serving spoon.

I will remember how my mother went back to college shortly after her second grandchild was born to receive a degree in Real Estate and how proud I felt when she received her Real Estate Broker's License. I remember how she took me to her nighttime math classes, and in High School those college level classes saved me while others struggled.

I remember her encouraging me to study plants and everything about them. She even understood my love of history and historical places. She encouraged me to continue to learn, no matter what the subject was, even bartending. My mother is an extraordinary person for her motto is "When a person stops learning is when a person ceases to be."

I have tried to instill that in my own children, I have tried to model my own parenting after her parenting skills. For rarely did she discipline in the traditional way of spanking or grounding, but to sit me down and try to talk to me to make me understand why what I did was wrong and what harm it could have caused me or others surrounding me.

I try to do the same, but sometimes I tend to lose my temper and my talks with my two oldest children end up in shouting matches and after we both cool off, then we are able to talk about what happened and how the issue could have been handled better on their part. My youngest child is different though. He is easier to sit on my bed and talk about his behavior and why it was wrong without screaming or yelling at him to get the point across.

I guess you can say that I tried to learn patience the most from my mother and some of it sunk in.

Published on June 6, 2007 in