Today was Mom’s 89th birthday! She seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself. To give a bit of background – my Mom moved in to my home over 3 years ago. She had been in a Retirement home but it was so expensive and she was not taking advantage of all the home had to offer. She is much like a hermit and stayed in her little apartment most of the time except to go out for meals. I have been adamant that I did not want Mom to go to a nursing home so now she resides at my nursing home which is basically what I am running at this point. I look after her meals, her finances, her laundry, basically everything in her life. I chose to do this and I do it willingly and with a grateful heart but it is, I believe, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. Being a caretaker to an elderly person is hard for most anyone but when you add autism into the mix it is like a living nightmare every day. Today was a happy occasion but for me it was also a very difficult day. I have been close to tears often because when you are looking after someone who is deemed “palliative care” you do not know what the future holds. Will there be another birthday or is this the last one she and I will celebrate together? Every special occasion is tinged with apprehension of “what if?” I hate being in this state. We autistics like to know exactly what is going to happen. Uncertainty is not a word we like. But uncertainty is my new reality and it is slowly sucking the life out of me. Today also was tinged with anniversary grief. 6 years ago today my Dad was transferred from the main hospital to another hospital where the doctors had great hopes that he would recuperate well and be able to go home. Just over a month later he died. I am one who holds onto dates and events and they constantly shuffle through the year. My unconscious mind even remembers when I forget. I will start crying for what seems no reason at all till suddenly I remember – oh, yes, this is when that happened. Right on cue every year my mind unleashes its memories to my utter dismay. I must interject here to say that good memories are unleashed too. Like the day I got my new cat or the day I started my job 33 years ago. So perhaps I can slide this day – my Mom’s 89th birthday – into my mind as a good memory cause it was a great day overall. A day we laughed together, reminisced together and celebrated together! Happy Birthday Mom!