This is my God-Mother and Aunt Betty. She is legally blind and has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and demensia. A few month's ago, she lost her independence and was forced to move in with my mother (her sister). This was gut wrenching for her because she's the oldest child out of a family of 10 kids. She was the sister that was always placed in charge of her siblings. She was the sister that everyone went to when they were going through their own divorces and abusive husband situations. She was also the sister that had money to help all her sisters and brothers without a hesitation, if they needed help. She had an excellent career designing clothes and making patterns for a sportswear company that started in St. Louis and ended in Dallas Texas. My aunt Betty never married and never had children. It just wasn't in the cards for her. She lost the love of her life when she was in her 20's. He died in a private plane crash. She never allowed herself to love that way again. Instead, she submerged herself into the church. My grandmother taught all of her children to be devout Catholics and my Aunt Betty was the best of them. She is very educated and decided to focus her attention on prayer and the church. She was a prayer leader for people who would call in on the radio (to her Catholic station). People from the church and the radio station would send her prayer requests in the mail.
What Betty did for my mother and myself... My dad was extremely abusive. My mother and we kids experienced the kind of abuse that you may only read about in books or see in a movie. When Mom finally gained enough courage to leave my father, we moved in with my aunt Betty. At that time, she only had a 2 bedroom apartment in a very nice complex. It was small but it was all she needed for herself and her dog. She didn't expect to have a family move in with her. It was only me and my mom because there was no room for my brothers. My mom was disconnected because she had to worry about death threats from my dad every day of her life. Several times, he tried to kill her on her way to work. The police would do nothing about it because my dad was "connected" to the police. In the 80's, there wasn't help like there is now for people like us. My dad also threatened to kill my aunt. She didn't care though. She told mom that they had to develop the attitude that the "worst thing that can possibly happen is that he would succeed in killing them"... that wasn't as bad as the constant living in fear. She taught us how to NOT fear dad (impossible but we tried). She taught us to have faith and she also gave my mom money to go through counseling, which was DESPERATELY needed. Mom was a mess and didn't even know how to be a person at this point, much less a mother. I mentioned before that my mother has 9 other brothers and sisters, right? Nobody else WANTED us because they were all afraid of my dad. It was the worst feeling in the world to know that NOBODY wanted us or loved us enough to care a little bit. I don't know about you all but if this were one of my brothers that this was happening to, I'd lay down my life for them. I digress... naturally, my mom couldn't be a mother to me and I was just ALMOST as much of a mess as she was. There was nobody to talk to because I had to switch schools and I didn't have my usual friends who knew my situation. My mom acted like I had the plague when she got home from her 2 jobs. Maybe she couldn't look at me because she felt guilty that my brothers had to be left behind? IDK. My aunt took over being a mother at a VERY critical time in my life.
When you're a teenager, you don't need to hear constant criticism about the way you are. It can kill your spirit. My mom only handed out criticism. My aunt, however, found it in her to find the good in me and tell me all that she admired in me. She made me feel like I really DID have something worth sharing with this world. She told me about all the gifts that she thought I had... like I had a good heart and loved old people and animals. She thought I'd be a good writer or a psychologist one day. She made me feel like I was WORTH something and I wasn't a mistake. Naturally, my mom was poor when she left my dad so my aunt took the clothes from her MODELS and gave them to me! I wore the same size as the models. All the kids at school thought I was rich because they'd only seen clothes like that in magazines! I loved it! She taught me how to walk like a model and project myself like a model. She told me I was beautiful and I felt beautiful. She spent her money to get my hair done like the models! lol That was cool too. She also took me to Merle Norman's to have a makeover and buy me very expensive make up. She gave me her jewelry that she'd attained from traveling around the world. BUT... the best thing that she did for me is to teach me how to cook! lol She'd give me a cookbook and tell me to pick something out to make for dinner once a week. We'd go shopping and buy the ingredients and she'd teach me step by step what to do. Mostly, it was all Spanish, oriental or some other kind of ethnic cooking. She'd even have coolers of raw shrimp flown in on ice in a cooler from South Padre Island on the gulf of Mexico. She wanted to teach me what GOOD shrimp was and how to devein and shell. I still have her Julia Child pots and pans along with her WOK that we used. There's just so much that I could write a book, really. I'll end MY part of the story by telling you that she always told me not to thank her. She told Mom the same thing. All she wanted was for us NOT TO FORGET ABOUT HER WHEN SHE GOT OLD. She didn't want to go to a nursing home. She wanted somebody to return the favor and show her the love that she tried to show others.
Back to now... Once again, none of the others wanted to take Betty in. I wanted to take Betty in my home because I have 2 extra bedrooms but my aunts and uncles consider my health too bad and they also think I'm too young! lol Some things will never change. My mother is now single again so she agreed to do it. The rest of them wanted to put her straight in a nursing home. For a few months, I've resented them all for that. They say she's particular and hard to live with. SO WHAT! Anyway... now I wish they would have put her straight into the nursing home. She's going permanently to a home down by the rest of her sisters at the end of November. That's only 2 more weeks. I received word that my mom needed help with Betty because Betty was driving her crazy. I decided to go up there and spend the weekend with her this past weekend. What I saw horrified me. My mom has never been the most loving person in the world but she absolutely lost all patience and love for her sister. Every time I tried to step in and take over, Mom pushed me away and acted like I offended her. It got to the point where mom started screaming at me and crying (which she never does). She thinks we're all undermining HER AUTHORITY. See, my mother is more than a control freak. I really believe she would have made Hitler a good love match. She's upset because my aunt won't follow my mother's written instructions (1 front and back page). She's upset because I won't follow her instructions. My mom has gotten Betty to be in PERFECT physical health for someone who has Parkinson's but like Betty says...."WHO CARES" when you're praying to die. She's not allowed to talk at all because my mom says "I have to run a household and don't have time to talk". Betty feels like she's in the military. She cries all the time now and is getting worse in her mind.
I'm going to meet with my aunts today to tell them what's going on. I'm going against my mom because she can't be reasoned with. GEEZE! I love my mom so much and she really IS a wonderful person who is generally caring toward the elderly. She might just need sleep. The thing is that I was up there to help so that she COULD sleep and she wouldn't go to sleep because she wanted to make sure I was doing everything right. Anyway, my aunts said that they too have had some concerns but have wondered if Betty was just making this up because she's got demensia. They're going to try to get her into the home sooner or if worse comes to worse, they'll take her in these last 2 weeks. Of course, I volunteered to go to mom's every day and spend the night but they think mom will only get more upset. It's a touchy situation.
This is WAY too personal, I know. I just wanted to give you all a background so that maybe you can see what's been going on and PRAY for us all, if you're so inclined. Send good thoughts our way... whatever.... I'm just so sad for my aunt and I love her so much. I hope today will be good with my other aunts and something can be done. My one aunt has POA anyway so she stands above any decision my mom can make.
I may be in and out trying to take care of things with Betty and Mom this week and next. I will TRY to be around as much as I can but at this point, I just don't know. I'm sorry to take the job as admin and then not be around much after that but family comes first, I'm sure you all understand. (((HUGS))) and GOD BLESS YOU ALL for your prayers!
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