Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Big Leap

I posted this on my personal Facebook page Thursday night when I came home from my mom's house. And then I figured I should post it here, too, since so many of you have been asking about my mother's Alzheimer's and sincerely expressing love for our family. Thank you.

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I feel like I made a big leap tonight. Made it to a place I didn't think I could go. Because I am way too tired to write up a whole blog post about it, I'm just going to share the story here (for those who are following this adventure with my mom and her Alzheimer's).

Because it was SO hot today (felt like 100 in Long Beach), we decided we couldn't possibly stay in my parents' house, so we walked over the bridge to the local bay. Mom, Dad and I sat at the water's edge while Alia, Grace, Ethan, and Spencer played in the water and built sand castles. I held my mom's hand the whole time, and my dad and I talked--one of those conversations where we kept remembering funny stories and laughing together (mostly about how FUNNY my mom was in her earlier years). When we returned home, we ate lasagna for dinner and helped Mom get all ready for bed. She was out like a light by 8.

It was a sweet day. Calm and precious. But the thing is, my mom really wasn't there for it. It might just have been the heat, or maybe today was just a "low" for her, but she couldn't finish even one sentence. She needed me to feed her at the dinner table. It took two (sometimes three) of us to lift her out of her wheelchair, and she needed me to brush her teeth for her. I didn't even need to ask her if she knew my name because I already knew the answer. She just calls me "Sweetheart," and I think that is great.

But here's where my "big leap" comes in. I realized as I was tucking her in bed that I've gone from caring mostly about my own needs (and my longing to have her know me and love me and stay with me here in this life) to thinking about HER needs--and finally feeling the compassion she deserves to have felt for her. For the first time, tonight I was able to look at her and think, "Wow, this whole process must be so incredibly exhausting for you."

I don't want to see her go. I hope she lives for many more years. But tonight I finally got to the point where if the Lord sees fit to take her back to Him, I will be okay with that.

I don't know if any of you have ever gone through something like this, and really, I hope you never do, but you all have been such a support to me. I thought it wouldn't hurt to share. Love to you all.


 

2 comments:

  1. April, I SO understand where you are at. I went through this painful process myself not too long ago. My mom lived with me and my family for the last 14 years of her life and the final 2-3 years were extremely challenging, but it was all time that I wouldn't trade for the world - and I feel so blessed that God allowed me to have that time with her - where our roles were, more or less, reversed. Mom went to her heavenly home in October 2012. I miss her a ton, but I know that this is just our temporary home and that I will, someday, be reunited with her in our Forever home.

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  2. I've never gone through an experience like this... expect to say that I do understand the leap. The grandmother I adored, who was like my mom, died when I was 18. I remember the crossing over point... where I accepted her need, and God's timing, to pass on. Even today, when I miss her, I think about that... how it was time.

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