I always knew that one day I would take care of my parents.  I knew I was part of the ‘sandwich generation’ > folk who would, at some point, take care of both their own children and their parents at the same time.  My mom turned 50 last week… I thought ‘one day’ was 10-15 years away.

The stroke that wasn’t a stroke (not even a TIA) followed by partial paralysis that lasted months;  the loss of function in her hand that eventually came back, months later.  The July morning 2 years ago when she woke up and couldn’t walk.  Except for a brief respite last summer, she hasn’t walked since.

Finally, what we never hoped for

After years of life-changing symptoms… we finally have a diagnosis:  My mother – my beautiful, young, vibrant mother – has Multiple Sclerosis.  She’s never going to walk again.  She’s never going to chase after butterflies with my girls again.  My two youngest will never remember my mom without a walker or a cane.  My oldest asks why her grandma can’t push her on the swings anymore.

I’m angry.  Angry at the doctors that never put 2 & 2 together.  Angry at the genetic makeup that made her susceptible to develop MS.  Angry that she can’t be there for me the way I need her.

I’m sad.  I’ve read everything I can find and I can’t unsee the mental images of my momma battling end-stage MS.  I’m sad that she has to be in so much pain.  I’m grieving the future she’ll never have.  She has so many good years ahead of her, but will they be good?

I’m angry that I’m sad.  I’m angry that my life has been turned upside down, and I feel like I’m being a selfish brat.  This isn’t about me – it’s about her.  It’s not MY disease… but it is.

My mom… she’s aged so much lately, and that breaks my heart.  I’m not ready.  I’m not ready to lose the mom that I know.  No matter how old, a girl needs her momma.  I’m not ready to watch her get old; she’s not supposed to grow old right now!  It’s not fair… But the kids are waking up now, so I’m going to wipe up my tears, grab a coffee and pretend that for now, my world is ok.

And so the journey begins!