There is no guarantee either way. It might happen. It might not.
Just in case it happens someday..
This is you. These are your babies beyond the scrapbooks. These are the words that you did not always speak but chose to share. This is who you were and those you love at this period of time. I hope you are not desperately searching for them without seeing them in front of your eyes. Your parents are not here. It is most likely your brothers and sisters are gone too. Don't worry, you will see them soon.
Everyone is right, you shouldn't be driving. Those are your pills and you are supposed to take them. Take your shower and listen to them. They love you.
Your mother and your grandmother are not there now. But they were where you are now. Confused. A little lost. Sometimes really pissed off.
Your grandmothers cheek was like a silk cased feather pillow, dusted with powdered sugar when you rested against it. She used Ponds her whole life. Her voice was a river you floated along in a daydream as a child and you liked the way it sounded when she voiced the name of her sister so much that you named your youngest child the same so that you would continue to hear the voice. When she was young she was a flapper! She was really something. You weren't her favorite. She liked the brown eyed cousins best but that was ok. She lived with them and helped raise them. When this happened to her she had hallucinations of bugs. She would ask people if they could see them. Her grandmother had spoke German to her as a small child and she had forgotten most of it. One night she woke your uncle's family in the middle of the night yelling at them in fluent German. The mind is a very strange thing. Then she began to wander away from home. She got lost. They had no choice.
You saw what it did to your mom when this happened to your grandmother. You watched as she worked all day and then rushed to the nursing home almost every night. The attendants were washing your grandmothers face with soap. The silk was turning to linen. Coarse and wrinkled, when it began to peel your mother cried. She bought Ponds and would sit on the edge of the bed. Gently, lovingly rubbing the cream into your grandmothers face. Desperately trying to save ....something. Some part of her mother.
Your mother had more lines in her face but not a lot. She took some care. She loved to keep busy. Working, volunteering, just going somewhere. She was your friend. At first it was ok when it began to happen. You could tell her your favorite stories over and over and she never tired of them. Everyone joked the first time she put bologna in the freezer and then couldn't find it. It was years before these episodes began to show a consistent pattern. Long before it was obvious she once called, angry at your father because he had given away a special box. Did you have it? No, you don't remember ever seeing it. He just told her she was wrong. He didn't point out that it never existed. He just let her rant it out. After he was gone the problems at work became apparent. This new boss was undermining her. Plotting against her. She should retire. Then she began searching for the missing little boy. Where did he go? You felt sad because you thought she was missing your brother. He had been a grown man but he was her boy. She knew someone was missing that should not be. More people became missing. Ones who were long gone and the ones in front of her face.
The dead were waited for patiently, with purse in her lap. The family in front of her face, kind strangers. She enjoyed her visit very much but was ready to go home now. My husband and kids are waiting for me. Have you seen my mother?
You saw what it did to all of you when this happened to your mom.
So just in case
you are waiting for your mom right now, just relax. There will be time for that before you know it. Your face will have the most lines. It already does. You did not have the most difficult life. You stayed out in the sun too much. Dummy. Is there a cute old guy around? I bet he'll kiss you if you ask.
Your husband and children have said that if it happens they will keep you home and take care of you. You told them to please put you in a nice facility. This is a personal choice. You never want to be that kind of burden. You never want your grandchildren to remember a person who was not aware of their love. They can explain it to them all day long. It does not stop the pain.
Read. If you can't remember it is alright. You won't notice the difference.
Feel free to burst into song in public. I insist on it.
© 2010 All Rights Reserved
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.
Here are some ways you can help.
Visit the Alzheimer's Association Website
Join or start a Memory Walk in your area.
Or read for more information on Alzheimer's Disease and ways to help further the search for a cure.
The memory you save may be your own....or possibly mine ; )
If you know someone who is a Caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer's, Reach Out. Support. Listen.
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