[Image shows: 3 spoons lying on a laptop keyboard with a clipart of torn paper with a red paper clip. On the paper reads “Mother’s Day for the Best Mother and Care Taker” with an orange and yellow marigold in opposite corners of the paper.]
I do not know what it feels like to be a mother watching her child go through the things that chronically ill people go through. I only know what I experience, I can’t speak for her. What I do know though is that I have one of the best mom’s in the world. And while most children say that about their mothers, mine is indeed #1.
[Slide Show contains 8 photos of my mother and I in various situations throughout my youth and young adulthood, including the day I got my NG tube placed, graduation with my mom and grandma, my mom and I at Lake Eerie, my mother and I prior to NJ placement, us at the zoo, us swimming when I was 4 and in a life jacket, us at Niagara Falls and me in a wheelchair, and my brother, my mom, and I in ponchos while at Sea World]
I have never met a more dedicated mother than my own. From working with me nonstop as a child to helping me nonstop as an adult. Some of my youngest memories are her pulling out barbie work books to help me learn my alphabet and numbers, she taught me to sign, she played gatorade drinking games to get fluids in me when I had the flu, she held me and sang “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” to me when I was admitted in the ER, and she has advocated for me time and time and time again when I could not.
My mom taught me to swim, taught me to walk, taught me to be kind and say please and thank you. She has been there for me through thick and thin. She has helped me through every single step in my life. She helps me schedule appointments, she takes me to all my appointments, she stays with me every night in the hospital even when there is nothing but a chair or hard sofa for her to sleep in, she manages to stay strong through it all so that I don’t have to.
My mom has never given up on me, she pushes me to do my best, but also I know that if I mess up, she will forgive me and help me fix it. She is always there for me. She would never let a soul hurt me, because then they would feel her wrath.
When it comes to being a mom, you are given a number of “hats”. You are the story teller, the cook, the cleaner, the teacher, the therapist, etc. When you are the mom of a chronically complex child, you are given even more hats: nurse, caretaker, advocate. My mom is all these and more. She has set up my feeds for me when I was too sick, she pushes me in a wheelchair when I cannot bring myself to walk long distances, she helps carry things, she has shaved my legs after surgery, washed my hair, helped me in and out of showers and tubs, she has gone above and beyond the call of any “normal” mother.
She is by far the best mother I know. Not many moms could handle all the things she has on her plate, and still be as level headed as she is. She may have her moments. We may disagree (because no mom and daughter gets a long all the time), and we may get frustrated at the crappy hands we have been dealt. At the end of the day I know she will always be there for me, and that I could tell her anything and she will never love me any less and do whatever in her power to help me. I could not ask for a better mother.
[Image 1 shows: me in a blue cardigan, glasses, and NG tube with short red hair next to my grandma in a purple blouse and long brownish red hair, and my mother who is in a dark blue v-neck shirt with long brownish blonde hair with sunglasses on her head. We are at a park, there is a hill behind us with trees.
Image 2 shows: Same three people and scene but with our tongues sticking out, and me making bunny ears behind my grandmother’s head. ]