Caring for your elderly parents is never easy , and the added difficulty of them causing the biggest trauma in your life sure complicates it even more. My parents wouldn’t let me keep my firstborn, their first grandchild. I’ll never completely understand it. But , they are Adopted and I know that played a huge role.
My mom moved out from the west coast right after 911. She lived with us for 15 years until moving into assisted living 2 years ago. That was not easy having my mom in my home as everything collapsed around me. She heard my truth and watched me dissolve after a rejected reunion. I lashed out , as the teen that had her daughter ripped away. I said many things I’m not proud of and I know I wanted her to SEE what she had done.
She witnessed the turmoil in my family as my raised children, all full siblings with my lost daughter, reacted to adoption. It wasn’t pretty and almost destroyed us all. We are all still working on it and probably will for the rest of my life.
There came a time that I knew I had to forgive her. She had a horrible childhood and just didn’t know how to parent. I knew I wanted to be everything she wasn’t. If only life was that easy. Call it fait , karma , or whatever is easier. Dysfunctional families continue, though not necessarily in the same way or degree.
Learning to forgive her has been a process. I had to see her as the adopted child she was , and not the neglectful parent she had been. She simply didn’t have the tools to raise my brother and me.
As she reaches the end of her life , I don’t want regrets. I try to be a good loving daughter. I fail on occasion.
Yesterday at the doctor, we were checking her out post shoulder replacement. Her front tooth was ” flapping ” as she called it. I asked if she wanted it out. She did. And , in a second it was gone. She was shocked on how I knew what to do.
Memories came flashing back. She never pulled my teeth , brushed my hair or any of the mom things most had. I raised myself and little brother. She simply checked out on our childhood when dad left.
I know if I don’t forgive her and love her , I’ll be forever guilt ridden. I do not need one more drop of guilt or regret in my life. She doesn’t remember most of my life and has dementia now.
So I run her errands, take her to doctors and try to involve her in things she likes. I try to be who I needed her to be. She’s always pleasant and grateful and I feel extreme guilt wherever I fail.
Adoption made us orphans when they took our babies. So ironic how that worked out that way. I’m trying to forgive daily. For me and for them.
If you need me , I’ll be playing tooth fairy, and fixing my moms hair. Love means going through the pain to get to the good stuff.