(Editor's Note: Guest Blogger Henry Peter Gribbin has written about taking care of his mom for www.BoomThis.com several times in the past. His mom, Angeline M. (Krotec) Gribbin died on June 9, 2013 at the age of 91.)
By Henry Peter Gribbin
I took care of my mother for the past ten years. I quit my job over three and a half years ago to take care of her full time. I never considered myself a hero or super son for doing so. It was just something that I knew I had to do, and it just felt right. We had many ups and downs over the years, but all in all we had a good time.
When my mother died this past June I had some time to reflect on certain things. I did everything myself, and I made some mistakes along the way, but I was a quick learner. The one thing about me was that I was never shy in asking knowledgeable people advice on how best to take care of her. The one affliction that bothered my mother the most was dementia. It is a truly horrible disease that attacked her memories and thus stole a piece of her soul. Through talking to people I was able to get a grasp on how this disease affected her. This knowledge helped me understand what she was going through.
On the other hand, my mother helped me, too. I wasn’t aware of this till after she died. In taking care of someone with a myriad of afflictions one has to learn extreme patience and kindness. This is especially so when dealing with someone with dementia. After years of taking care of her I believe I have become a better person. Of all the wonderful things she has done for me over the many years this is probably her greatest gift.