Lately I’ve been feeling way down and thinking a lot about life. I’ve been questioning why things are happening to my family and myself. I’ve been doubting who I am and my worth. I’m almost 22 years old and I wonder what I have to show for myself. I sit here and think that I used to have it all figured out but something strayed and now I’m stuck.

I know everybody knows my story about my dad because I talk about it and mention it all the time. Half the reason I think I do that is because I want to try to keep him a part of my every day life. I don’t ever want to lose any part of him, but that’s getting harder to control as the years since his death pass by. With all that being said, few people know what my mother is experiencing.

I don’t talk much about my mother’s health issues, excluding asking for prayers, because I like to believe not having to talk about them will make them disappear. How I wish that was possible, but truth be told that’s far from that. Experiencing this versus what my dad went through is in ways so much harder because I am my mother’s caregiver and with my dad I was so young I didn’t fully understand all that was going on. I’m constantly on the road driving my mom to doctor after doctor receiving bad news on top of bad news or no answers on top of no answers.

I just wish more than anything these doctor’s could all get together and come up with one solution for making her life easier instead of one disappointing “fix” after another.

The first time my mother went into the hospital where I had to care for her was when I was 14, one year after my dad passed away. Although just a typical life surgery I was the one who had to spend three days in the hospital with her. Every since then I rarely remember a time when she wasn’t in doctor’s offices.

Things started going downhill fast when I was 17 when mom had her disk replacement surgery in her spine. Mom was diagnosed with degenerated disk disease and we were told we had 5-10 years before she would be completely down. At 17 it hit me that my mother had a disease that would change our lives for as long as she lives.

Since then she has been diagnosed (not in chronological order) with: fibromyalgia, fatty liver disease (almost liver failure), acid reflux disease (and a hernia), early stages of dementia, and now the most recent concern is heart problems (we get those results soon). That list is just what I can think of as I sit and type all this out and are not including her previous health problems. Which one of these is the most scary to you? To me the dementia scares me to no end and we have had many flare ups since she was diagnosed. It is so hard to look at mom and know that her health is deteriorating at a fast pace and there is NOTHING I can do to make it stop, to make her feel better.

I’ve seen one of my parent’s breath their last breathe and I just don’t think I can live to see my last one do the same. I hope every day that by some miracle I will wake up and mom will be up walking around with no aches. I long to have a healthy parent and a “normal” life.

I wouldn’t trade caring for mom and I don’t want y’all to feel like I am complaining. I love and adore my mother more than anyone. I just needed to type this out and get it all out. Maybe it’ll help me process everything a little better.

I’m slipping and I’m slipping fast. I go through the motions of life with a smile on my face because that is the way I was raised. I’m strong because at times my mom can’t be strong. I’m happy on the outside but on the inside I’m hurting.

For the first time in my life I am enjoying what I am studying and I start to think life is looking up again. Then I get a phone call from my mom saying she is having problems breathing. In that second every bad thing went through my mind, but I remained calm and did what I was supposed to do. Now it has hit me that there’s something else wrong and the tears are flowing. How do I deal? What do I do? Although we don’t know what is going on with this I have a bad feeling and I hope it is wrong. I don’t want to add another illness to my mother’s long list. At the same time I want answers. I want to know what is causing her to have all this happen to her.

Life… I tell you it’ll teach you things you don’t want to learn. Everything is a lesson though so keep your eyes and heart open. Keep going, no matter what comes your way.

One day I’ll know why everything has happened. Maybe I’m to try and help someone else by providing my story to others. Whatever it is I know I can handle these storms because I had one strong daddy and my momma is the strongest lady I know – so bring on the rain. I can take it.

Life… is hard but it’s worth it.