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.
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."
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.