Monday, May 12, 2014

Celebrating Mom

Like all 20-somethings, it wasn't so far back in my past that my mom and I were mostly communicating with yelling and furtive late night/early morning notes (to avoid crossing paths). I was becoming sicker with every passing day in my late teens/early twenties, was enrolled in an insanely difficult college program, felt like I had nothing left to keep living for, and like many hormonal, stressed, and depressed teens, all of this turned into a lack of a good relationship with my mom. Thankfully, as my life evened out, and a glimpse of light began to appear in the end of my tunnel, that relationship that had been missing between my mother and I developed. She went from being The Enforcer to being a friend. 

My parents, on their 25th wedding anniversary:

I know many people for whom the relationship with their parents is sorely lacking. I even know a few who have cut all ties with their parents for their own mental health. And I'm glad that my relationship with my mother is growing stronger with time and not weaker and more strained. Seeing what these friends have been forced to give up (for while most of them never had a decent relationship with their parents, there is still the hope and desire for that relationship that is lost when the ties are severed) makes me all that much more grateful for what I have. 

This year has not been an easy one for my mother. She was diagnosed a few months back with Crohn's Disease. Crohn's is an autoimmune disease where the immune system begins to attack the digestive track, causing large lesions to appear. The lesions cause a whole host of issues, from malnutrion and anemia to exhaustion and infection. In addition, Crohn's also causes a range of other symptoms, including inflammaory arthrtis, a rash that looks and feels like wide spreading bruising, muscle aches, damage to mucus membranes (causing dry eyes, dry mouth, etc) and more. 

Mom has tried a minimum of 4 rmedications at this point, and has already been moved to bimonthly infusions of the biologic agent Remicade (the same medication I'm on for my autoimmune issues, oddly enough). She's in pain, sturggling to figure out what she can safely eat without getting even sicker, and trying to adjust to life wth a serious chronic illness.

And through it all, she's been here to take care of me. Just since January 1st of this year, she has moved into my home on 2 seperate occasions to care for me after surgery. She's bathed me, done my laundry, cooked for me, put up with my griping, gotten me out of the house when I hit my limits with Cabin Fever, and even cuts my grass. 

Her help, love, and care, and our improved relationship in these last few years, means more to me than I can really put into words. 

Mom, if you're reading this, I love you and Happy Mother's Day. Oh, and don't let Dad eat your cookie dough*! Sadly, I couldn't find any cookie dough theft alarm systms to include with the dough for your gift, so you'll just have to watch him near the freezer. ;)

(My level of Normal-ness is beginning to make more sense now, isn't it?)

* You can make cookie dogh and freeze it on trays/plates in individual cookie sized balls, then put the balls in a container once they've hardened up. When you want to bake, just let them thaw out on the cookie tray, then bake like normal. Not an ounce of taste difference and it lets you make just a few cookies at  time. 

N.B.: I apologize for any typos. My actual computer is out of commission for the moment and the iPad app for writing posts is extremely iffy, as is the post editing page on Blogger on an iPad. 

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