Life With Mom


Bringing home the boat that I received as a gift, was one of the happiest moments I have experienced in a long time. It was the manifestation of a dream that began in 2008 when I became friends with a rower from Connecticut. That was back in the time when I had what was considered a “real” job. It was also before I made the decision to move home to care for my mom, who is now 89. Thankfully, her need for help to remain independently in her home coincided with my need to radically shift my life.

Many wonderful and horrifying things (the stuff of future blog posts) have happened since first coming to terms with the fact that the life I knew, while informing the present in some ways, no longer even remotely exists. In that world, I was well paid to be responsible for staff who held the fates of families living in the South Bronx in their hands. Juggling the children, families, staff, administration, and multiple funder or regulator needs was challenging. Yet for the most part, competent, effective, and supportive are words that I would have used to describe the way I functioned in that world.
The latest day in this life consisted of taking mom to be interviewed for Sizzling Seniors, a local cable show, multiple loads of laundry, a trip to the bank, grocery store, meal prep and clean up. It appears deceptively simple, who wouldn’t want this life. Spending time with an amusing, articulate, lively individual, a dream job, right?
Watching my mother on the stage, hearing the effort behind a once strong voice, with it’s new faded soft tone, listening from a new perspective reminded me once again of why I am really here. I am the witness to her descent. With each day the tide goes further out to sea, taking with it yet another piece of a woman who served her country in the military and then my family with her love, in her own stubborn, uncompromising, and dignified way.
Loving her with all my heart, I row. I row daily because it is a way to release a pain otherwise to burdensome to contain. After one dazzling season of learning to row in a quad, I have now spent an entire year rowing only indoors as life has required, to sustain, to remain, to continue to do what day to day becomes harder.
Living for the most part without disposable income is challenging, especially in the glaring light of well intentioned others who do not see the minutiae contained in each moment of the days that look so easy. I am employed full time, I work on a 24 hour shift with many breaks and mealtimes. It is a position that is paid in intangibles, an invisible currency that while not guarenteeing my fashion will be up to date, does ensure my future. And that future is reinforced everytime I go in the garage for even the smallest item, and smile at my shell, sitting on it’s slings dreaming of being on the water this coming spring.
Blessed Be. Beth


"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 bakka2thesource a collaboration of musicians and artists.
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3 Responses to Life With Mom

  1. pcassinelli says:

    Beth, that is beautiful, and beautifully written. Women(and some men)who are caregivers should be commended for their hard work. I know sometimes there is no other choice or this is what we want to do, for our parents who did for us. You are an amazing women and I am happy to have met you and I want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. I just felt very comfortable when I met you and I hope lwe will have a long friendship. God bless you and your Mom. Love, Paula

  2. Matches says:

    Don't know if you use Twitter or not, but there is a ton of streaming links each day to other caregivers blogs,caregiving info & support, as well as articles of interest. Due to my work with seniors, I subscribe (follow) quite a few. If you need any info., let me know!

  3. B'Bob says:

    Beth – you are a wonderful writer and I hope it helps you in your journey. Watching the return to where we came from is an enlightening and rewarding experience as well as emotionally draining. Know that the love and support of your friends will always be there. I'm glad we met up again after many years my friend!

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