I haven’t written much these last few weeks. My enthusiasm for many things has been tested on multiple fronts. Mom’s memory issues continue to deepen, I lack adult-time with ANYONE other than myself, and I still experience the same ordinary concerns of daily life.
People are aware of the challenges that caretakers face, yet the rewards for such work far outweigh the few complaints that one might have. I agree that there are times when it is hard to stay happy and bubbly, but once you take a moment and remind yourself of all the good times, past and present, it turns to a chuckle.
My mom has dementia, and her particular form of the disease is what I call a swiss-cheesed memory. She knows I am her son, but she doesn’t know my name. She has no clear recall of the past, yet remembers her native German language, although her use of it the past decade has been rare.
Just today, we went to the mall for a walk around, since it was raining and cold. Mom didn’t recognize ANY of the stores, or even the place itself – but that didn’t stop her from enjoying the time out, and seeing the kids and puppies (and Santa!).
She has had an one or two episodes of dizziness, which, although the doctors say they can’t find anything out of the ordinary, is very concerning. The scary part of her having an issue is that she can’t tell me what exactly is wrong. Her language has REALLY diminished in the past few months.
Just a few examples of this:
“Make my face” and “gonna mash me” means “I will wash my hands”
“Pull it down” means “do you want me to lock the door?”
“What time does that go there” means “where does this coffee cup go?”
One COULD focus on what is lost – but I have gone the other way in order to recognize what she has GAINED. She is a shell of herself, but the part that remains is the best of her.
She is happy. That can’t be underestimated, as her life was a tough one. Bad choices in husbands, lack of education, and being far away from her family in Germany led her to a life that was much tougher than most. She never complained about it, and just kept working hard.
She lost her racism, and gained appreciation of children of all nations.
She lost the memories of her son dropping out of her life for a few years, but gained the same son back to being by her side during most hours of the day.
I certainly can’t complain about that.
You can read more about Thomas and his mother by checking out his blog.
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