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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Memories to cherish

Migraines--I hate them! I especially don’t like the ones that creep up on me after a long hardy cry. Holding back tears makes migraines even worse.

Yesterday’s tears are affecting me today. And today’s “holding back tears” makes my head hurt even more. Today I realized my tears of yesterday were not only tears of joy, they were tears of sadness and anger as well. Yes, yesterday’s tears were of wonderful memories of my dad, but also they were tears of anger and heartache to come.

Tossing half full bottles of Dad’s cologne and items no longer needed jogged memories of good times with him; it also reminded me that I’ll be doing the same thing with Mom’s things one day. Dad had a stroke, which led to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Mom has Alzheimer’s, too. That’s where the heartache comes in. That’s where the little voice in the back of my head says, “Don’t think about it. Enjoy each day, make those memories that you will cherish the rest of your life.”

Today, I sit and wonder how I can be so caring and loving of my parents, yet have such distaste for my brothers. My brothers have no need for me in their lives. It didn’t take long to figure out the difference in feelings; my parents loved me and showed it every chance they had…I need say no more about the latter.

That’s where the anger comes in: all these years, I’ve let my siblings’ childishness hurt me. No more! I’ve finally come to accept that I am an only child.

I know that on the day I say ‘goodbye’ to Mom, I’ll be alone. For the only people who truly gave a damn about me will be gone. Aside from my two daughters and grandchildren...I’ll have no family. Until then, I’ll enjoy each day to give them wonderful memories to cherish once I’m gone. And that I can live with!

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