So my mom is turning 90 on November 10th. I am winging my way to Ohio to be there for her special day and I must admit that I have had a few anxious moments thinking about seeing her. I have shared so many times before here on It’s Just Life that her dementia is slowly stealing her away from us and each visit I wonder…what will she be like.
Dementia is such a strange disease. Just when you think you have it figured out and know how to react and respond to the latest change in behavior it flips your loved one into another phase and another challenge to deal with. My mom has only had a really hateful and mean phase for a couple of weeks, thank goodness, but for many it can be prolonged. I am very grateful that we have not seen that behavior return because frankly it was very difficult to handle that. I am not sure I reacted or handled that particular phase very well but I do know that many dementia patients exhibit that behavior so I was not surprised.
The past few weeks my mom has declined a little bit according to the director of the memory care unit. So that is why I am a little apprehensive of what we will find when we see her. Of course turning 90 is a huge milestone and one that we wanted to celebrate with all of her friends. But the best thing for her now is a smaller celebration and that is exactly what we are planning. Just family, cake and ice cream and not a lot of commotion because that will probably even be more than she can handle.
When she turned 80 we had a really nice party and celebration for her and I am so glad that we did that. No one had an idea of what lay ahead and I am grateful (there’s that word again) that we were able to celebrate in style. We even had M & M’s with her face on them. So yes- that was a celebration done in style. I have to be content knowing that this smaller scale celebration will be more for the family than for her and be okay with it.
This party will be low key but filled with love. And when it all comes down to it that is all that matters. It is not about the presents or the number of cards and people who are there – it is about love. And I have enough love for my mom to get me through whatever difficult days may be ahead. Love is all I need and the perfect gift to give my sweet mom. Happy Birthday, Mother. I love you.