Another one of those life moments

We all experience those life-changing moments - getting married; the birth of a child; the death of a parent; changing careers; traumatic experiences and major health issues. They change our life path and shape who we are. Life is a combination of opportunity, dumb luck, fate and our own decisions. Among my life changing moments were getting married far too young when my soon to be wife got pregnant. The birth of my son and daughter, two of the most life altering experiences. Getting divorced after trying too hard to make it work for twenty-three years. At the time I didn't know it would result in the biggest regret of my life - losing my children. I have not spoken to my daughter in over twenty years and my attempts to reconnect with my son two years ago failed miserably. I have only held one of my five grandkids in my arms when she was just born. I believe my grandkids believe I am dead. The greatest mystery of my life is why my kids chose to cut themselves off from me and my entire family. I have always suspected that my ex was so paranoid about my kids moving out West to be with me in a place they loved that she lied to them and didn't give them any of the cards and letters I sent in the early years. They obviously believe I simply abandoned them which could not be further from the truth. I got so desperate to see my daughter that I drove down in the dead of winter, nearly losing my life in the process, only to have my ex and her new husband squirrel my daughter away and not let me see her.

The most traumatic and life altering event was the death of my father, who died in my arms after having an asthma attack in the water and what the coroner called "dry drowning". For an agonizing half hour I administered CPR, not really confident that I was doing the right thing until the paramedics told me to keep doing what I was, believing that I was killing my father with my own ignorance of CPR. My mother suffered from Alzheimer's, something my father could not deal with, so after he died I moved in with her to care for her. No one who has not experienced caring for someone with these horrible disease could ever understand just how difficult it is. My brother and sister were not the least bit supportive and her care fell only to me. I felt trapped because I couldn't go anywhere and leave her. The few hours I got every week when a caregiver came to give me a much-needed break were never enough. My own life was put on hold. My asshole brother, a nurse, only looked after her for one night and couldn't take it. He forgot to give her her medications. In the morning he called me and said to get home because he couldn't handle her, something I did 24/7. After eight long months pleading to get my mother in to a care facility and finally succeeding, my ignorant sister pulled her out and put her in an assisted living facility in Revelstoke. No sooner had she arrived than she was found wandering the streets of Revelstoke with no clue where she was. My sister went through the hell I had been living through and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I had warned her that if she removed Mum from the care facility she would be assuming full responsibility for Mum and I would do nothing more. I have never forgiven my sister for what she did, and never will. In my eyes she killed our mother.