This is the second week in a row where mom has sounded really good. She has been alert, upbeat and filled with clarity. We have been able to engage in our daily conversations. I have purchased my plane tickets to visit her, and will be arriving in eight weeks. I am hoping that when I get to her home, she will still be having her better days. Although eight weeks is still a long time away.
The last time that I visited her with my husband, her days were not great and being with her was painful to watch. It brought up sadness and frustration . As my trip is getting closer, I start to feel some different emotions . As of now I am surrounded with excitement, yet feel a small knot in my stomach.
Just today, mom so cutely said that she only hopes that she can remember when I will be arriving. She asked me to please remind her and hopes that she will not forget. I laugh with her as she speaks these words and reassure her that I will not let her forget.
Mom offered to help me make her "famous" meatloaf when I visit, since she cannot remember the recipe herself. Simple things like this excite me . I delight in each small thing she says, as if I was watching my son speak his first words, or take his first steps. Her good days come and go, so I always cherish those special moments.
It doesn't matter what we may speak about, it is just that we are still able to speak. She touches my heart in so many different ways. I can no longer talk to my dad, and in reality the day will come when I can no longer speak to her.
Mom has no memory anymore of anything, including my dad, her marriage, her youth. Maybe she still has glimpses that come to her, yet as they pass by so quickly she has no way to share them. Yet for all this she does seem happy . In her world, she does not understand the difference.
My mom and dad met when they were very young. Mom was eighteen years old when they married. Dad was only twenty one when he shipped out to serve his country. At that time mom was also pregnant with my brother.
On October 25th this year, they would have celebrated their 70th anniversary together. My dad passed away seventeen years ago. He suffered for nine long months, while my mom traveled each and everyday to see him.
I wonder how difficult it would have been for him, if he had lived, and he would now be experiencing my mom, as she drifts away. My brother and I are now the only immediate family she has left.
Alzheimer's disease I believe effects the caregivers even more. We are the ones that watch how this disease destroys their lives, as they loose their memory and slowly disappear. We feel the pain that they may not even realize exists.
The sounds of joy that my mom can still express are for me, what makes me smile. She fills my heart with much joy. Everyday that she still knows who I am, is truly a gift to me. Mom has been so courageous and today as always she will remain my hero.