Hello Missus Audrey.
Thought provoking indeed but a question I cannot answer because I cannot begin to comprehend, or maybe it is just too painful to comprehand what my carees go/have gone through.
My "mum" (my grandmother). Raised me from the age of 4 months, worked two jobs, worked so hard at home and had so many health problems. I spent most of my young life in and out of hospital almost constantly with severe asthma which stopped my heart two times. She coped with all this without any complaint and coped with the death of my own mother at the age of 29. Her health problems have been too numerous to count but she has never given into pessimism. She lost my "dad" (grandfather) in 2001 to cancer and my "brother" (uncle) totally unexpectedly in 2005..she has buried both her children but has been my rock through all my hard times, especially with my other caree, my daughter.
I could not imagine the pain of losing my child/children. I could not imagine getting up day after day and carrying on, especially in old age when health is so precarious. I could not imagine going through major heart surgery the day after I buried my son and doing it because I had to stay alive for my "daughter" (me) as she had so much to contend with. I could not imagine such a downturn in health that renders her incapable of doing the things she enjoyed. Of the Carpal tunnel that stops her from knitting, of the macular degeration that stop her from seeing the TV and is robbing her of her sight, of the mobility problems that rob her of the dignity that she had until so recently.
Of the heart failure that will finally take her life within the next 6 months which she knows for sure because she asked..she wanted to know. "I have to make sure my house is in order"
I could not imagine going through all that..it is beyond my comprehension.
My caree/daughter. I could not imagine what it is like to live with ravenous insatiable hunger every minute of my life, to feel starving but to be told that I cannot eat what I want, when I want it. I cannot imagine what is it like to be desperately lonely, to want to have friends, relationships, marriage, sex and babies and not to understand why this doesn't happen for me.
I cannot imagine what it is like to be so angry, so sad, so tormented that I will smash my own precious things to smithereens nor could I imagine hating my family so much, not knowing why and smashing their stuff to smithereens too.
A long waffle Missus Audrey for which I kind of apologise but not a massive amount.
Because I hope that in among my waffle you can see my answers. I can have empathy and admiration for both my carees but I cannot think too hard and too long about role reversal because it would hurt too much and I would become bitter. I can think about it but I cannot..must not brood about it because if I did, it would make me think that life is just not worth living.
I have to be positive (hate that word but you know what i mean) for them. For young caree to know that life is not always a bitch and that she can do and achieve so much.
For mum, who is now tired and is ready to "pop her clogs"..I follow her lead. I don't reverse my role because it is my turn to do what I can to make sure her remaining months are happy ones. My "role" is now to be mum. Without wishing to sound too soppy (cos you know I'm not!
) for the woman who gave up so much for me without a second thought..it's an honour.