Lessons Learned

I find myself mulling over the past 5 weeks of my life at odd times. My mind wonders and I replay things that happened while I was taking care of Mom. How one minute she seemed fine and then in a very short time she was like a baby, depending on me for everything. I fed her. I gave her water. I changed her diaper. The diaper thing I didn’t think I could do. I honestly dreaded it like you wouldn’t believe. I told myself I couldn’t. Moreover, I said I wouldn’t. But you know when the time came, it was really no big deal. So I think one lesson is don’t say what you WON’T do, for you will have to do just that thing. And don’t put limits on yourself before you see what you are capable of. I didn’t think I was capable of caring for my mom like I would have one of my children or Husband. I said it out loud. Not to her of course. But to my children and Husband. “I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this.” But I could and I did. I am a better person for having done it. Both my brothers said they couldn’t have…but they could. If I hadn’t, they would have. I find a person, no matter how you limit yourself in your own mind, when the time comes, you step up. You put on your big girl panties and deal with it. I hate for her sake she needed me to do these things, but I am thankful I found it somewhere in myself to do them.

That’s all. I just thought it important to say this. I don’t want any of you to think I cared for Mom without reservations. I had plenty. I so didn’t want to face the responsibility. I went through bouts of anger and self pity. I have never been so emotionally and physically drained in my life. It was heartbreaking to watch her deteriorate so quickly. She went from having lucid conversations to mumbling incoherantly and just crying out ~ all in a span of three weeks. But I wouldn’t go back and undo anything I did for her. I needed some lessons in humility and selflessness – two things I have a problem with from time to time, as I am sure others do. I don’t think anyone who knows me personally would have a problem saying I am spoiled. I know I am. I have lead a fairly cushy life and never really had been pushed to my limits. And quite frankly, now I realize I don’t even know my limits. That’s been a profound realization for me. I have learned so many lessons from Mom, even in her death she taught me much needed lessons.

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You should be proud that you were able to step up and do what was needed for your mom in her last days. I can only imagine how hard it must have been. As you said, the experience changed you in ways that you probably haven’t even realized yet. Back in July when we were discussing nursing after your surgery, you said that you hoped someone would be there for your mother at the end. Someone was — you! From one LA “girl” to another: well done!

Barbara @ Southern Lady's Vintage

What a blessing you must have been to your mother as I am sure she was to you. Though I am sure that this was a devastating & difficult time for you, I am so happy that you pulled from your inner strength and just did what had to be done. You should be proud. And I would bet that your Mother was too!


I don’t suppose any one of us knows what lengths we will go to when necessity forces us to go beyond what we think we are capable. I think you must have been a great blessing to your mom during the last days of her life here on earth and you will be blessed for all of your ministrations, and actually you are probably discovering that you already have been. In doing so you have also blessed the lives of your readers, for it’s truly been inspiring to me to come on here and read about your great love for your mom and all that you were able to do for her. ((((HUGS))))


Those words are beautiful…Thank you Susan and blessings for you..

I am so glad that you were able to be there for her.

Continuing to remember you in prayer.


I love your honesty. I don’t know what else to say, except that I am listening and trying to learn from your lessons–


You are right and I knew you could do it. The two times I faced traumatic events in my life I thought I could never do it. I came away from both of them a better, stronger, and more mature person. And was taught major life lessons each time. You just never know what you are going to be handed. All we can do at the moment is our best and thats what you did. I know your Mom loved you so and thought the world of you, always bragging about how talented you are and how wonderful the kids are and how much she loves all of you. Hold on to that right now, the good times. And let them take over the bad times. It won’t happen overnight but if you always keep the good things first it helps.
I love ya!!! Wouldn’t it be nice if your little bitty wizard could zap away all your hurt with his little wand!!! I know he would if he could, he is serious about it!!! He is very cute.

oh susan! you did good! you did so good!
and with more grace than you know!

That was a very moving and honest post. It’s quite amazing what we are capable of when that is simply what needs doing. It comes from love really. Good for you.


Boy, Susan… your honesty keeps bringing tears. Isn’t it a humbling experience to care for a dying loved one? And, you’re so right. Never say never. When the time comes, we can do so much. But maybe it’s better not to know too far in advance what might be coming.

Phils Ann