The Tank and I were laying in bed the other night talking
about this and that.
One of the things I shared with him was that I had
finally figured out Oprah's question that hadn't been
weighing on my mind though I know
she'd be so proud to know that I had finally figured it out.
I'm a stress eater.
But, I get ahead of myself...
Y'all know that mom moved to the ranch in the middle
of January this year for me to take care of her.
She moved here from a memory center
in Portage, Michigan, where she was residing because
she had onset vascular dementia.
So, we make it to the ranch a couple of weeks before
Oh, heavens, that was one big moving van.
Before I became concerned as to how much room mom's
things were taking up inside the van, I derived a great
sense of satisfaction knowing that whomever was
driving by the ranch as this monster drove up the lane,
would be wondering why we were moving, where we
were moving, had we run out of money? goats?
Center Point is like so many other small towns in that respect.
The sight of this van driving up the lane would give
the old men that drink coffee at the local mini mart
great fodder. Still makes me smile when I think about it.
Here are some shots of mom's things.
Not all of them be any stretch, but, enough that you can
get an idea of what those men pulled out of that moving van.
Oh, the boxes.
The entire mess was supposed to fit into mom's
room - a really decent sized bedroom with a
sitting area and attached bath. Lots of storage.
But, please! A whole house into a suite?
And, of course, she wanted to start going through
the boxes one...at...a...time, handling, touching,
This picture is of mom shortly after she arrived.
I remember when I looked at this photo that it struck
me as so odd -- my mom was "old", you know,
a senior. I had never seen it in her before and
maybe that's because she was never "sick" before,
I don't know. But, though she looks different to me here,
she's still beautiful and 85 this summer.
Mom has to use a walker to get around.
She is a bit frail and her sense of balance is
somewhat off. This is the safest way for her
to get around -- even when re-introducing herself
to the goats.
So, mom has dementia, she's moved everything
she's ever owned to the ranch and
on top of that, after she had been here for a few
weeks, she fell and sustained three hairline fractures
in these two bones that attach to the bottom of your
Pain, such pain sitting, standing, sitting.
Nothing that can be done (in the way of surgery)
and thank goodness she is almost healed and the
pain is lessening weekly because she has really been hurting.
However, even in the middle of hurting she manages to
dig out her sense of humor...the picture above is mom in
a sweat suit, hood up, topped by her heavy robe
(and an asked for pathetic look) because she
was/is/is always cold. Someone needs to tell her she's
in south Texas now, not Michigan.
This picture was taken this Easter, just a couple of weeks ago.
We had just been to church to witness Blake, Clay and
their daddy's baptism (it was so cool).
Blake and Clay wanted a picture taken with Grammy once
we got home. Oh, and Sophie, too.
These are the moments I like to remember.
The ones I must remember to get through the
other moments that fill my days.
I remember growing up, into my adult years, always
fearful that one of my parents would get cancer and die.
The word "cancer" had always scared me and I could
picture having to live through one of my parents getting
sick with "the C word".
Never, however, did I or have I thought that one of my parents
would develop dementia.
It's a condition that does no apparent 'physical' harm to the person
suffering from it because they don't know that there's
anything wrong. It's the children and all of those who love
my mom that have been the greatest affected.
She has moments with me where she will question "why"
in reference to her confusion and memory loss,
but, except for those moments,
it's those of us that love her that are feeling
the most pain. And, I'm sure there are many of you
that can relate to that.
And to those of you that are the care givers or have been
the care giver, I know what you're feeling.
I know your frustration, your feelings of inadequacy,
your fear, your exhaustion, the pounds you've added
or the pounds you've lost, those moments of delight that
you share with your parent. I know all of it
and I pray for you as I hope you are praying for me
and all of the caregivers.
AN ALZHEIMER'S POEM
Do not ask me to remember
Don't try to make me understand
Let me rest and know you're with me
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
I'm confused beyond your concept
I am sad and sick and lost
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.
Do not lose your patience with me
Do not scold or curse or cry
I can't help the way I'm acting
Can't be different though I try.
Just remember that I need you
That the best of me is gone
Please don't fail to stand beside me
Love me until my life is done.