Mom's Year

Mom writes:

I can't believe it's been a year since the dreaded words were uttered, "early on-set dementia."  June 20, 2011 was that day.  Today, it seems it was just 2 or 3 months ago.  On one hand, it seems there have been lots of changes but since we are dealing with a new norm, it seems like just a few changes.  

I hate admitting she is no longer as independent as she had been.  The worst is watching her sort dirty clothes and leave them on the floor, unable to correctly put them into the washer, much less turn it on.  But I am thankful she can still put them into the dryer and turn that on.  I try to find something funny about each situation.  In this case, if I simply do her laundry while she's in day hab, I know when she gets home she'll be mad because she doesn't want me in her room.  I just tell her I'm sorry, I was just trying to help. 
Seeing the blank or confused look in her beautiful blue eyes breaks my heart.  I don't believe I'll ever get used to it.  When I see her like that I am amazed at how soft my heart becomes and how my patience rises to surface.  By nature, I think I am demanding and impatient if something isn't done correctly.  You know what?  You nature can be changed.  Let me give you another example.
Knowing I am dealing day to day all alone in this journey I have proven I really don't need others.  Perhaps I'll sing another tune next year.  I do tell Nikka what's going on, how I feel, how frustrated I am and she listens and wags her tail.  But I've gotten it off my chest and feel much better.

Nikka, dear Nikka, was put in our lives by a Higher Power.  I wish you could see the two of them together.  The dog is protective of her and won't let her out of sight.  She wants to touch Lyn all the time.  She gets nervous when Lyn first goes to bed but finally settles down.  She's super excited when she hears Lyn coming down the hall in the  morning.  She quivers with excitement.  I'm thrilled with this dog.

I'm learning not to say "do you remember.........." because chances are that she doesn't.  I'm learning there is no future in "correcting" what she says.  I look back at how we started joking that between us we have 4 brain cells and how they seem to jump from one of us to the other.  I'm learning to just "go along" with whatever she might be trying to tell me.  For example; on 6/16/12 she & her respite spent the day downtown at Civic Plaza at the State Centennial Summerfest.  They each got a "tattoo" that said State Centennial 1912-2012.  When she showed it to me for the 4th time she said "a little girl about 2 or 3" said to stick out my arm.  I smiled and chuckled to myself just picturing a 2 yr old handing out temp tattoos.

Just as I did 41 yrs ago I take care of her by doing what my heart and gut tell me to do.  My goal is to keep her healthy, happy, safe and secure.  I reassure her of my love and how we have a good home where she has 2 bedrooms to live out of and I only have one.  No, I wouldn't do anything differently than what I've done.  Why?  I'm learning as I  go along.  I don't look back and say "shoulda, woulda or coulda."  I just look forward.  I try to be prepared for whatever will come.  It's a learning process for anyone dealing with dementia.  

It would be nice of others could or would take a small part of her life but I truly understand their position.  I don't want others to think I'm pointing fingers because I'm NOT.  I hope no one is in this position with a loved one because it's a rough road to travel.  I remind myself that I've prayed GOD will take her before HE takes me.  Looks like HE will answer my prayer.  I would then be happy knowing she is with HIM and will be "normal."

My emotions don't run rampant as they did a yr ago.  I am learning to push them down into a controlable place.  


  1. Why is there a tear in my eye . . .


  2. Thank you for the kind comment, Ron. Mom sometimes underestimates the power of her words.


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