I started this personal photography project last year in August after watching my mom, day after day, care for my dad after his debilitating illness rendered him wheelchair bound in 2014. It goes without saying that watching your parents age and get sick is horrifying.
Some people accept it with grace. Me? I get angry and frustrated which, I recently realized (thanks to my boyfriend) is born out of fear. The underlying emotion is always fear of seeing your once strong parents become a frail version of themselves.
In October of 2014 my dad's neurologist diagnosed my dad with a stroke in his spine which left his legs useless. We didn't think he had long to live but I believe my dad's stubborn will has somehow convinced God he can stay around a bit longer. Don't get me wrong, we're all grateful. But watching my mom in her quiet, unassuming way, care for this handful of a man is frustrating sometimes. I watch them knowing this is committed love in action.
I barely do enough to help my parents. I do what I can but never enough. I watched my boyfriend take care of his terminally ill mother twenty four hours a day for four years until she passed in 2013. He did everything for her. My cousin in San Diego is also another shining example of a selfless caregiver to her parent Their example should be one I adopt as my own.
But all I can do is do my best to help my parents. In a perfect world I wouldn't hesitate in quitting my full-time job to help my mom. Heck, in a perfect world my parents wouldn't be sick, old, and frail.
This isn't going to be a warm and fuzzy tale of a perfect family coming to terms with life events. My dad and I spent most of our lives fighting with each other, arguing incessantly about trivial crap, just so one of us can hold our ground in our rightness. I'm not here to wax poetic on what a wonderful daughter I've been because sadly I wasn't. It wasn't until he was confined to his wheelchair when we both laid our differences aside and granted each other forgiveness.
And so begins my ongoing personal project.
This is not my story, this is theirs