You Are The Mother, I am The Child
by Rhonda Canales
I lost my mom on Jan. 22, 2011. She was 59 years old. My mother always drank. It was what she did. We all knew it but didn't see anything wrong with it. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that she was an alcoholic. Even then I didn't see the harm in it. I mean she held down a full time job and had a social life. She couldn't really be a drunk right? In Oct. 2008 she quit her job. She said it was because her knees hurt all the time. Well, she was getting older right? By 2009 she seemed to be drinking all the time. I slowly became her caretaker. My step-dad was just to old to take care of her and didn't really want to anyway. I began cleaning her house, doing her laundry, doing all her shopping, and taking her to doctors appointments. Isn't that what good daughters do? I begged her to stop drinking. The fights were epic. Her health continued to deteriorate. She was always drunk and falling down. She would call me in the middle of the night and threaten to kill herself. I would beg her not to. She would cry and say she was sorry. I would tell her how much I love her and beg her to stop drinking. She would make promises she knew she couldn't keep. I knew it too.
Eight months before she died I went to her house to make sure she showered and ate something. She was not doing well. I made her a doctors appointment. I was getting her ready and brushing her hair when she looked up at me and said...It's like you are the mother and I am the child....Yes I thought, it is exactly like that now.
On the day of my 40th birthday, Dec. 29, 2010 my step-dad called to tell me my mom was just rushed into emergency surgery. She was vomiting blood and had a hole in her bowel that was spilling feces and blood into her abdominal cavity. She was in a coma for a week after that and slowly came out of it. During surgery they found that she had severe cirrhosis of the liver. It was to late, next came kidney failure, then lung and heart failure. I was holding her hand when she left us. I told her how much I love her. She said she loved me too and that she was so sorry. I am sorry too. Sorry she chose alcohol over life. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her a hundred times and cry. I was always Daynene's daughter. Now I have no idea who I am. I am lost without her.