Monday, March 14, 2011
My mom now suffers from Dementia/Alzheimer’s and today my mom has become my hero. Mom’s disease has brought us closer and for me I do not hold it as a tragedy. Ironically it has given me a greater appreciation and respect for which she is and I hope that if I too, end up with her disease, that I could be half the person she has become.
She now has so many wonderful things about her personality that maybe she always had, and I just could not see or appreciate them. She is still at the age of 86 feisty, energetic, and in a strange way so alive.
Alive? What is alive? My mom stays locked in her home with the television turned on every waking hour. When my dad passed away fifteen years ago my mom said having the television on all the time was for her, never having to be alone. She said there was always sound, no silence in her home and that it had become her friend.
I use to question before I realized what was really happening to my mom why would such an active women who was always going to lectures and loved to keep learning just stop doing things. Her hints of getting lost all the time in her car, and when she stopped reading or looking at all my home furnishing magazines( like Elle Décor and Architectural Digest when she came to visit) I should have questioned more. I thought it was strange and my husband and I could not understand when she would come up from Florida to visit and stay with us for a week or two why she said she would start her programs again when the summer was over. Many months after the summer ended, she would tell us the same thing about restarting her activities (after the summer ended) and I would say “mom it’s already October, and the summer has been over for months”. Mom would say” what are you speaking about the summer is not over”. These were the little signs that her mind was starting to go, or was it that I did not want to acknowledge what was happening to her.
Her younger brother, my Uncle Alvin already had Alzheimer’s and my mom would always tell me how bad he was getting. He didn’t know who she was any longer. It was getting her quite upset, to the point where she did not even want to see him .Since then my uncle has passed away from the disease. He had full blown Alzheimer’s and was wearing diapers towards the end.
As of now my mom is nowhere near that stage although things are starting to show more and more, maybe I choose to not think of what may happen, yet to stay in the moment of thankfulness for all that we still do share.