Hi Mom, I said with a smile as I spoke to my mother on FaceTime. How are you doing? She’s not aware of the coronavirus situation in our world. The tug of emotions is authentic. “You gotta come to get me out of here; I’m not doing good,” mom says to me. “I’m about to lose it in here.” Those words hit me in my gut. It’s not like I haven’t heard her before, but it came across like a clarion call tonight.

My first thought was, Monique, get your shit together! With my thoughts still guiding my emotions, I’m unsure if I should hang up from the call and immediately get my mom the hell out of that assisted living community. I’m having a whirlwind of emotions. I’m having conversations with myself in my mind like, Monique, what have you been doing, girl? Why don’t you have the income you need to take care of your mother in the way she would do for you – dignified? What have you done with the things you have invested in to ensure that you have what you need? What’s taking you so long? On and on, I’m questioning my adequacy tonight.

I feel like I’m not enough. I can tell you this not feeling of “I’m NOT enough” is not just associated with personal relationships; for me, this recurring theme seems to be engrained – and I do not have it anymore. I have got to get my shit together to do what is necessary for my personal and professional life. Getting my shit together tonight feels like life or death.

My telling myself to Get my shit together is why I’m sharing this story; it is a recurring thought theme for me. I have said it far too often. Get your shit together should be the thought theme that quickens an internal stirring in me to execute. I’ve been on a caregiver hamster wheel for the last 28 months. I’m just trying to figure it all out. It’s hard. But I’m growing in mind and character because of it. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Dementia has changed my world, my perspective on life, and how I’m going to live it now. There is no going back, so Monique, get your shit together! The world is waiting on you – shit, I’m waiting on myself.