The experience of caregiving for my mom was all-consuming and it consumed me. During all that time, I documented every significant detail in writing, photo and video. Now (last half 2023) I intend to publish those items here, as a coherent, organized presentation. Frankly, I’ve been too fragile to attempt this until now.
My devotion to my mom’s care was unequaled. I was her loving and doting son, her champion, her patient advocate, her caregiver, her companion. Every single doctor, nurse, social worker, therapist, religious clergy, professional caregiver, neighbor, friend and family member said that they had never seen a child take such good care of an aging parent or family member.
In my brother, Nick’s, words I did “a yeoman’s job.” Doing a “good job” was high praise in our family and my brother’s recognition was the highest praise I could be given.
After looking after mom for years daily, but part time, a medical emergency turned me into a 24/7 caregiver overnight. I cared for her every need for 34 months without a single day off. It broke me past the point of suicidal despair but I carried on beyond that with absolute determination until she was taken from me.
You may visit mom’s memorial services page here and sign her guest book. Because of the pandemic rules, she was not allowed to have a Funeral Mass or other services, so I put her memorial online.
For the last three years of her life, I cared for my mom, night and day. It was not even a choice; it was my sacred mission.
In the years before that, when she could still leave the house, though her gait and mind were faltering, I was constantly by her side. Everywhere we went, I held her hand. I told her I would not let her be embarrassed in public about her decline. I said, “Don’t you worry, mom, I will be your cane and I will be your brain.”