Monday, January 27, 2014

remember me?

I didn't mean to take such a long break...but boy have I needed it! Christmas came and went in a whirlwind...and then my poor sweet father got sick. He's all better now but it took a while for him to bounce back. I'm going to continue this little blogging break for another little bit...and then I'm hoping to get back, better than ever. But first I wanted to share this...

My father getting sick was an eye-opener for our family. I haven't mentioned it here before but my darling mother was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago. So far, it seems she mostly has trouble remembering people's names and the names of some things. First it was the names of people she rarely saw, then progressing to people closer to her. And when my father was sick and not eating, we realized she wasn't eating either. The only thing I think she could remember to fix was peanut butter crackers.

My father is completely dedicated to taking care of her. When we talk to them about the future and getting extra care, they insist that they are doing okay on their own. My mother prays to God everyday that her memory won't get any worse. Compared to others in similar circumstances, she actually is doing quite well. She even reminds my father to take his medicine. And she knows all about what bills to pay and when.

What makes me so sad though is to think of the parts of my mother's life that are forever more knitting, sewing or crafting of any kind. No more cooking or baking. Back when she was first diagnosed, and we were looking blindly into the future, I worried how could she be happy if, among the things she loses, she loses hold of the things that make her happy. It's still a question I worry about but what I've realized is that the roots of who she is are still there. She is still my sweet mother.

I never imagined that writing this post would be so hard but I suppose that's really why I've never mentioned it here. I'm in denial, for certain. This isn't a disease that ever improves, is it? Little bits, like crumbs from a cookie, are lost everyday. It hit me especially hard the other day when I called and said to her "This is Amy"...and there was a unspoken "who?" It's so silly because I knew she forgot others names. Somehow though, I just didn't think she'd forget mine.

What can I do? Denial isn't the way. I know that. But maybe the thing to do is to realize that we still have most of that sweet cookie and treasure her. I suppose the day will come when most of the crumbs have fallen away. Perhaps then I can try to rejoice that I can still remember and those memories can make her whole again. My sweet mother with her golden heart.

I'll join my mother's daily prayer. She doesn't ask that it be taken away...just that it not get any worse. See? Even in that, you can see how sweet her spirit is. So I do that...I pray that her memory stays as it is as long as God wills it.