Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen Cox is truly a love story. No, not a love story in the boy-girl romantic sense but a story about the love between a mother and a daughter.
Author Doreen Cox shares her experience as a "care bear" during the last three years of her mother's life and how she learned to live with her mother's slow progression from a viable, interesting, lovable, and happy woman to a woman overcome by dementia unable to handle even her most basic bodily needs. And Ms. Cox doesn't shirk away from those details. She repeatedly quotes her mother's mantra:
"You just do what you have to do."
Ms. Cox starts out this story as her mother's daughter and friend and roommate. She gradually becomes her care bear and then her "mommy." Though her mother always could articulate a thank you and big toothless smile for everything Ms. Cox did for her, she became like a child thanking her mommy.
Ms. Cox gave up her as a career group counselor at an alternative school for at-risk and SED high school students to care for her mother, and she never regretted it. She took on all the necessary tasks that were required to keep her mother fed, medicated, and clean and she never shied away from them. Even after her mother's death, she says: "The desire in me to take care of Mother to her end-time had been very strong, a `calling,' I had termed it. My `calling' included the care of Mother's body to its end."
I am in awe of Ms. Cox' loving and un-resentful care of her mother. She never asked the question on many other's minds: "How could anyone do this day after day, night after night, for so long?"
Her loving heart and soul just wouldn't allow it.
I recommend this book for anyone dealing with dementia. It definitely is a lesson in love.