I was able to spend some time with my sweet mom recently and it was, as always, a bit bittersweet. While she does not say my name anymore my husband says she “lights up” when she sees me. I will take that. Any day. All day. And always. Always — when I say goodbye and hug her and tell her she loves me she says she loves me back. That makes up for any of the other things that are so difficult to watch.
This last visit she was missing her glasses when we visited and I searched high and low in her room for them to no avail. The thing that she does now is move and rearrange things. This is a typical behavior and one that I have noticed for a long time. Perhaps even back to several years ago when she was convinced that the staff was stealing from her.
Chris and I searched all the drawers, under the bed, on the shelves, etc. and had no luck. I doubt that her glasses really help her that much as I suspect her macular degeneration has progressed to the point where her vision is truly impaired but she just didn’t look right without them to me. I alerted the staff but had no real hope of finding them. I figured that somewhere among the torn up greeting cards and magazine pages she had thrown them out and no one had caught it.
Fast forward to the next visit and still no glasses were gracing her face. Chris randomly opened a dresser drawer and pulled them out. I had looked in that drawer several times and no luck so either she moved them or I need my own prescription adjusted. Whatever the case we found them and the game of hide and seek was over. Just another part of the life of someone with dementia.
As I baked Christmas cookies today I thought of the past years when I made cookies with my mom. It was a holiday tradition and one that I carried through after I left home. Christmas is not Christmas without at least a dozen different kinds of cookies to enjoy and give away. As I pulled out the ingredients today to make the beloved No Bake Chocolate Cookies I remember how when I came home from college I would always empty out the pantry of cocoa and chocolate chips to make cookies to take back to Chris. I can still hear my mom “complaining” that she had to stock up on those items when I came home. I don’t think she was really complaining but it reminded me of those precious times of making cookies with her and how much fun we had. I am so grateful for those memories.
Dementia has taken so much of my sweet mother from me but it won’t take away these special memories of times we shared and I am so grateful for that. Do you have any special holiday memories of things done with your own parents? I would love to hear all about them in the comments section so Comment for a Cause for The Haven of Transylvania County.