Susan from Arkansas

Hello, my name is Susan. I am the youngest of four. My mother is Mary Terrell. About three years ago, we were more than aware that Mom would no longer be able to live alone. So, I left everything in Florida (knowing she would not move there), and moved back 'home' with her to take care of her. After a year of job searching, I found a good job in Little Rock, moved there first to get the home purchased and ready for Mom, then moved her up with me, selling her home in our small hometown of Crossett. So, she and I are now 'roomies.' Mom raised the four of us virtually alone and we never really knew the sacrifices she gave for us at the time, but of course as adults, we're very aware of them all. Now it's my turn.

The guilt I have of being at work all day with her home alone is insurmountable, but at least I have cameras on her which I can view from my phone at any time. I rush home at the end of the day, make dinner for her, check her meds, make sure her clothes and room are in order, and we share dinner together every night. Afterwards, I make a lunch for her for the following day that she is able to prepare on her own. Sundays are big for her, so I make sure her jewelry and wardrobe are ready for church. I take her to the local Senior Center on Saturday mornings so she can get her 'workout' in, which is about 45 minutes on the recumbent bike. We try to take little trips around the state on weekends, and have recently begun 'ice cream runs' to the local shop counting that as a sinful 'dinner.'

She is a joy to be around, always pleasant and positive. Though she's getting wobbly on her feet and can't always stay focused or remember the topic at hand, she always has a smile for everyone and enjoys every day she has. Her joys are the birds we feed, her crossword puzzles and her books. I feel blessed that I am able to care for her and never take for granted - each and every day. We have AARP supplemental insurance for her, I manage her finances and all her health-related issues, but at some point I know I will need help with all of these. For now? We're just enjoying being roommates. She is my main focus in life because I know she depends on me for everything.

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