Or as we call her around our house ... Nana Banana.
This is my mom, Judy. I couldn't do what I do without her.
When Jeff's accident occurred in July last year, my mom was in Ohio on her annual summer vacation visiting family. She wasn't scheduled to come home until September.
She came home the next day.
She knew I needed her, and she dropped everything to come help us.
I remember when she arrived at the hospital. We went out in the hall together, and I broke down. It was the first time I let myself fall apart after the accident. I was waiting for my mom to be there to comfort me. To wrap her arms around me and cry together. There is truly nothing in this world like a mother's love.
In the months following the accident, when I had to spend so much time by Jeff's side in the hospital, my mom became the primary caregiver for Evie. Since the day Evie was born, my mom has been a major figure in her life. But since the accident, she and Evie have become even closer. They really are two peas in a pod. They have such a close, strong bond with one another.
In January of this year, we moved into our current house - a one story home with hardwood floors, perfect for Jeff to maneuver around in his wheelchair. A month later, my mom moved in with us. She is helping us along this journey in so many ways.
She gets Evie ready for school every morning. This includes fixing her breakfast, doing her hair, getting her dressed, and taking her to school. She also picks her up in the afternoon and spends quality time with her every day.
She helps me in the heavy-lifting aspect of caring for Jeff. Together we've developed a routine for getting Jeff out of the bed and into his chair (and back) in record time. I never imagined that my 5-foot tall mother and I would be hoisting around my nearly 200-lb husband, but that's exactly what we do. Several times a day.
My mom is a natural caregiver, and it shows. Seven years ago, my mom was the caregiver for her mother when my Grandma was in her final days. Mom was by her side doing things no one else could do. Things other people were afraid to do - like administer medication and clean up yucky bodily fluids. She was a great comfort to my Grandma. I admired my mom so much during that time, and I hoped that one day I would be able to comfort and care for her with the same grace and strength she showed toward her own mother.
I never, in a million years, expected I would have to care for my husband before caring for my mom.
But at least I am able to draw on her experience. And in a crazy twist of fate, have her by my side as I do my best to care for Jeff.
This lady is pretty amazing.
We love her so much.