Day 1

Sunday morning, 11:25am. My mom comes downstairs and says, “Is there anything for breakfast? ‘Cause I’m hungry.” “I can make you a smoothie. Have you not had anything yet?”, I say. She says no, there is no food in our house. I ask about the 5 boxes of Bel Vita bars she made me buy earlier in the week. She starts looking aimlessly around on the counters. I have to explain they are in the pantry. “Oh, I already had one of those.” I’m not sure if she’s forgotten, if she doesn’t think that counts, or if she’s just still hungry. Who know’s because we’ve already moved on to some other drama.

Like many homes, mine is chaotic. It’s my husband and myself, our two teenage children, my mother, three dogs, two cats, a fish and a bird in a quiet little suburb in Southern California. It’s beautiful here. This time of year it smells like orange blossoms outside because of the many groves around town. I know I am very fortunate. After 19 years, my husband still loves me, and I love him. All you ever want for your family is for there to be love, health and happiness. There is plenty of love. I don’t think even our teenagers would question that. The other two are debatable.

The last several years have not been easy. Our daughter has issues with severe depression and anxiety, and my mom was diagnosed Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease a few years ago. Either one of these things would be difficult enough on their own, but together they pose some unique problems. Often I feel like I am in the middle trying to make everyone happy, trying to ease the tension between my husband and my mom, and balancing my kids and husbands needs with hers. Apparently there is a name for people like me…we are the sandwiched generation.

My goal with writing is two-fold: processing my feelings and documenting my family’s journey with mental illness and the awful disease of Alzheimer’s. I’m hoping to write everyday even if just a bit.