WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO VISIT ?
Needless to say that this week because of Hurricane Sandy parts of New York and New Jersey have been devasted. Many people have no power, the city lost it's mass transit and the airports have been closed. Some homes have gone up in flames and the coastlines have been sadly ripped to pieces. Myself and my family thankfully, are safe and sound.
I tried to share all these events that were happening with my mother. When I spoke to her about Coney Island(located in Brooklyn, NY) and questioned if she remembered it, mom's answer was "of course I remember Coney Island, that is where I grew up." She then delightfully sang a song about the boardwalks of Atlantic City. The next time I tried to to share with her about the subways, the buses and the airports, she nonchalantly said she was getting off the phone, as if nothing had else mattered.
Mom has her days where right after we says hello, she immediately then says goodbye.This was one of those days. I'm not sure why she does this, and there are the other moments she enjoys our girlish chit-chats.
It's not that mom does not care ,and especially about her own home town, it's because of Alzheimer's, that nothing I said had registered. Honestly, although mom can spell the word hurricane, I am sure that she has no idea of what a hurricane is.
Mom only wanted to know when I would be coming to visit. That was all she seemed to care about. I excitedly said in 4 1/2 weeks, and continued with how lucky I was that I did not have my plane ticket for this week. Again she did not understand. She responded by saying, "why not, you can come anytime you like, the sooner the better." "No mom the airplanes are not flying where I live." She repeated how she wanted me to get on some other plane. I probably should have just said I would try, since I understand that she will never remember.
My husband will be joining me on my visit to see mom. The picture above is from last December when we were at her home in Florida. That week was especially difficult for she was not able to understand most anything we said and she was quite confused. Mom's wires were disconnected.
The last several weeks she has been having some rather good days. Hopefully when we arrive she will still be "with it."
When I visit mom it is quite different then when we speak on the phone. Seeing her in person can be stressful and heartbreaking. I get to see all the ways that she has no idea what to do, like brushing her teeth,combing her hair and flushing a toilet. She gets confused about where her bathroom or bedroom is located, in a home that she has lived in for over twenty five years. This makes her illness so much more real for me, and puts a different perspective on things.
The other parts of spending time with mom are very special. The moments we have together of just holding hands, laughing, helping her dress, and making her lunch, are special times that I get to take care of her, as she once did for me. I for a short period of time become her lifeline. In many ways our rolls have reversed ,and that's okay because embedded in my heart ,she is and will always be my mother.
As our daily phone calls come to an end I still can count on her to say, "when are you coming to visit?" Today and always I will cherish those words.