Caring for someone you love is a tricky one and anyone who does it on a day-to-day basis will know that things can change from one minute to the next. Just as you think you've overcome one problem or managed to get an issue covered off, a new one will raise its ugly head.
I'm managing to cope with those curve balls that get thrown at me (actually, read: 'I'm dealing with them but still learning on the job!'). But the hardest part is dealing with the emotional side - when my mum says something that rocks my world. The world I'm trying very hard to keep stable.
She said one of those things to me last week. Now, I won't share what she said - that wouldn't be fair or necessary - but it made me stop and think. The more I thought, the more I knew that something had to change and that we needed to do a whole lot more talking.
I felt happy with our progress ... until I took her to her hairdressers yesterday and got some insight, from a family outsider, about my mum that I knew had been troubling her but had no idea that she'd chosen to share the severity of her upset to such an extent. That hurt. Quite a lot.
It was like seeing a tiny raw piece of the woman who brought me into the world - a piece that I knew was there, but magnified under a microscope. It was out there, beyond us. Suddenly, it became bigger than an elephant in the corner and it's since been there waving its trunk at me.
I can care for my mum, feed her, do her washing, clean her house, do her shopping, boost her spirits, keep her company and can generally be her 'cheer-leader' but, deep down, I know I can never make her truly happy.
Not by myself. And not until that elephant in the corner is gone.