Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s

I didn’t exactly lie…

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I didn’t exactly lie…

Are you ready for true confessions?

I didn’t set out to be dishonest. Promise. And really, it’s more of an omission than a lie.

But here’s the truth…in all it’s awkwardness and discomfort, here is the hard truth:
Mom doesn’t live with us anymore.  And she hasn’t for quite a while.

There it is. I didn’t mean to not tell you. I just didn’t know how…at first I didn’t because it felt like Dad’s story to tell and I wanted to wait until he had told those closest to him before I just put it out there on the interwebs for all to see; then I didn’t because I wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it; and then I didn’t because I felt such a release of tension in our new setting that I felt horribly guilty–surely I shouldn’t be feeling good about this; and then I didn’t because, well, I hadn’t and now it felt like too much time had passed. And so in order to avoid this oddness, I kind of avoided my whole blog. (Please tell me other functioning adults use this avoidance technique too. Can I get an Amen?!?)

In the midst of all of this, I did go back to school and it was much more intense than I anticipated but I could still have found time to write if I wanted to. You can always find time for what you want to do, right? And then a few of my friends started blogs and they were so good and I did that paralyzing comparison thing and decided I wanted to avoid writing for other reasons too.

The thing is, everything that was true when I started the blog is still true: I have a dear husband who loves me well; an awesome family whose generosity, in all things, overwhelms me regularly; amazing friends who live life intentionally and inspire me to do so as well; none of those things have changed. And I still value the process of writing and the introspection that it requires of me. So here I am, writing again. But in order to really find my groove, I feel like I have to catch you up…so here’s the (belated) inside scoop.

Last August we moved Mom into a care facility for Alzheimer’s patients. If a thing like this can be good, then it is fantastic. The care-givers are kind. The facility is clean (with only a slightly odd smell that wasn’t evident to me at the very first–only now when I’ve been visiting regularly for months.) She is well-fed and well-cared for.

It’s about a mile and a half from home. Dad visits her every day and Delores and I visit regularly. Cathy came out about a week after Mom moved in so she got to see it too. We are completely united as a family that this is the right thing. So once again, as much as it’s possible for this to be good, it’s completely awesome.

And Mom is content. Heart-breakingly so. I mean, thank God that she is. The transition was, well, honestly there wasn’t really one. One day she lived at home, where she did for 40+ years and the next day she didn’t and she didn’t really seem affected by that. So we were really lucky that it was so smooth and easy and yet it breaks my heart that she is so not-mom. We lose her a little more every day.

So that’s us. And that’s my story. You’re officially in the loop.

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A Sure Sign

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A Sure Sign

One of our family jokes has always been about our servant-mother. Whenever we were together, Mom was always serving others. Cathy and I joked about it when we were both newly-weds. We’d come to visit and Mom would set an unreachable standard for serving. And always, always, she would ask, “Nancy, does your husband need anything?” To which I selflessly replied, “He knows where the refrigerator is and last time I checked his legs were not broken so I’m thinking he’s good.” It turned into a family joke with Glenn asking me, “Nancy, does your husband need anything?” and Mom laughing with her eyes-closed smile.

She was like that with all the men in our family. And really with us girls most of the time too. Tonight after dinner Glenn took a strawberry bar out of the freezer and Mom said to me, “Will you tell him not to have that?”; it was a sure sign that she is more and more lost to us. When she was herself she would NEVER have denied Glenn anything, even if it meant having to re-purchase the key ingredient for the dinner party she was preparing right then. She would have let him have it and gone to the store. Again. Because she was our servant-mother.

I’m looking for a lesson in this, as I often do. I guess this one is just another reminder to be like her–to serve my beloved family in every way I know how. To care for them and provide and give and share. To live generously.