Turning the Tables: Bonus Parents and Change

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Earlier this afternoon, I was in hospital helping feed our Ita her lunch, I had to fight off my emotions big time.  Ita AKA Aunty Cathy has been my bonus mother my entire life, my aunt who never had children of her own and who help raise us Torres and a bunch of my Grijalva cousins.   Almost no words exist for me to express how important Ita is to me.    And there is no question that I will help care for her no matter how I can now that she’s having a rough time.  The funny thing is that she instinctively KNEW that, although we live far from her, that we would be here to care for her.  She said hi to us like she saw us yesterday, we are not ‘company’ LOL.   So fun to connect with my siblings and cousins who feel the same way about Ita as I do.  We have been told, more than once, to keep the noise down in the waiting room LOL.

What got me emotionally was that Ita and a lot of my bonus parents and parents are at that age where we’ve got to be there for them now and it is hard.  Hard to give up a big chunk of your life to be there for them, hard to deal with the frustration and burn-out, hard to deal with the guilt produced after you get frustrated and burned out, hard to know that they are becoming different people with different needs, hard to see these strong people who were always there for us now NEED to know that we are there for them.

I shocked myself as I fed Ita, I actually thought about how much easier their care would be if I didn’t have my job…that simple statement is very huge in my world:  I’ve always been very driven to do what I want to do, when I want to do this.   For many years, I relied on my fam to take care of the important familia issues and I would just do what was left, the minimum.  So, when I came back wanting to reconnect and be there for the fam, I was over-doing it trying to compensate for the years that I could not be bothered with it.  But, earlier today, as I said this to myself, I almost started crying because I really believed it and really wanted to be there for my parents and bonus parents, first and foremost.

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I remember when I got into a car accident in 2006, where my first Jeep was totaled after a semi sent me flying all over the freeway…WHO took care of me when both my hands and wrists were broken?  My parents and bonus parent Ita.   They even moved in with me for a couple of weeks when I had to go back to work and helped me get around.  More than helping me out physically, it really helped me emotionally to know that, at the end of the day, not only is familia is always there for you but I got to be comforted by the fact that my parents were there for me – nothing like feeling a parent’s love and support, no matter your age, when you feel sick, they WORK it for you!

I don’t know what or how it will happen, but commitment to my parents and bonus parents is there now and it is very real and sincere.  It’s a big day in Carmenlandia … it’s not all about me anymore and, quite frankly, I’m relieved and happy that this is where I’m at…now I’ve got to start working on this:  put my thoughts in order, refocus, and put new priorities into motion.  Will it happen overnight?  No.  Will it happen?  Yes.  The best thing is that I’m ready to start working on it!

One thought on “Turning the Tables: Bonus Parents and Change

  1. Carmen, as I read your blog, It made me think of my own mom & dad, they have been gone for the past 25 years, you write that you have a beautiful Familia, but as a care giver and who is there for your Tia, you will see the one’s who will be there for her, but you need to stay strong for yourself, don’t loose sight of YOU !!, and try not to get to emotionally drained
    just keep me posted, I love reading your blogs, dear familia sister I hope to see you soon, have a Happy Halloween my Dear, your Familia Sister Delia, or as my father use to call me His ” Preta Leenda ” that means “pertty dark one” I guess, “my Spanish not so good looking”

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