As my mother enters the latter stages of her life, whether or not she has Alzheimer's, I try to keep a smile on my face and faith in my heart. Mom will be turning ninety years old in six months. The reports from the medical team at the nursing facility tell us that she is extremely healthy.
Yet it is difficult to know how slowly or quickly her body will break down. In several ways mom is strong and appears to have much "life" left in her. Although her memory hardly exists, she still is able to communicate with everyone and stroll around in her Merry Walker. For a woman with Alzheimer's for over nine years, keeping things in the correct perspective, she is doing great.
The other evening at 8PM the nursing home phoned to tell me that mom had a large black and blue mark on her arm. I asked several questions to the nurse, "can she move her arm, is she complaining of any pain?" The nurse reassured me that everything was fine, just that she had to follow procedures to notify the family.
Thanking her for calling, and as I hung up the phone feeling relieved, and noticed that my husband appeared to be upset. He was holding his head as if in anguish. I could not imagine what was possibly running through his mind, and only wanted to comfort him.
I was surprised by his reaction as he shared that he was fearful that was "the" phone call, telling me that my mom had passed away. At that moment tears fell from my eyes and rolled slowly down my cheeks. I knew deep in my heart that one day I will receive this call.
As I look at my mom's life, as long as she is not suffering, I can only be grateful that she is still alive.Yes I have my moments of wondering what kind of existence does she have. When my mind travels down that path I quickly bring myself back to soak up the rays of sun. I know that we are not able to choose how we die, yet we get to choose how we feel and how we wish to live.
I am committed to be "in the space" of being happy. This is how my mother would want me to be. I embrace celebrating her life, her love and as of today, I will continue to allow "our" sun to keep shining through .