I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and by all rights I should be looking forward to it. My nephew is getting married and it's the first time I'll be getting out of the house for a social event in a long time. But, I'm struggling to get my act together, my son's pants aren't hemmed yet, my hair isn't cut and then there's Mom. Mom doesn't want to go at all, doesn't have a dress, won't get her hair done, says she doesn't know these people and she's right. Most days she knows me, but that's only because I live with her, she doesn't always know who I am to her, not for the past year, anyway, some days we're sisters, some I'm her daughter and some days I'm not sure. I just try to make her happy, but nothing much does that anymore.
Even when you know that the Mom you knew and grew up with will never be that Mom again, that the dementia that stole her away so cruelly and continues to do so is something that you have to face and deal with, it never stops you from wishing it were not so, from grieving each precious piece of her lost. And she's in pretty good physical health, this will continue, it will get worse, much worse. I have to be stronger than I think I know how to be.
She wants to hide in her room most of the time and she clings to my Dad and asks where he is over and over each time he leaves the house for anything other than work. He works the overnight shift and she's scared without him here. It used to be a comfort to her to know I am here, but I don't know if that's true anymore. She used to knock on my bedroom door if she had trouble with her teevee (she forgets how to use the remote) but now she just gets up and wanders. I want to set up a DVD so that she can have The Golden Girls on throughout the night, that's one thing she still really enjoys.
As we went through the holidays and for the first time she did not come downstairs to watch the boys open their presents, came home from my sister's and took to her bed and would not eat Christmas dinner with us, looked at something on her plate on New Year's Day and told us she never ate that, I would think--this is happening so fast, this is too much, I cannot bear it, but I must. I promised her, you see. I promised I would always take care of her, no matter what.
So, we have Saturday and a fancy wedding to get through, Mommy. I know you're scared and that you don't really want to, but we'll get through it and afterwards we can get back to whatever the hell normal is now. Most of all, I know you are struggling and scared, so am I , Mom. I love you.