I knew the day was coming.
Just not when.
August 30, 2018
My mom did not know who I was.
It’s been a very long couple of weeks for my family but the purpose of this blog post is not to make my readers feel sad or feel sorry for us. Not at all.
Because we are just one family out of many that is experiencing the effects of dementia on a loved one. We are not alone and it helps to hear from others who have walked this road before us.
My mom looked at me with unfocused eyes and said “Who are you?”.
I knew it was coming but had hoped it would be later rather than sooner.
I answered that I was her youngest daughter Beth.
She quickly piped up “Ann”. So I knew she still knew me. Growing up I was Beth but she often called me Beth Ann. We played the game for a couple of days. I would say “Beth” and she she answer “Ann”. She still knows that she knows me – just not exactly who I am.
Yes, it’s difficult but as I watch the memories leave and answer the same question for the 100th time I realize that this is part of life and I am privileged to be able to spend as much time with her this past week as I have.
Our little family of 4 siblings has grown closer than we have ever been and all 4 of us were together with her this past Saturday. She didn’t really know us, there was a lot of chattering and talking and she got very tired but I am glad we were all there together. Making memories.
We call ourselves The Village because it takes a village to take care of her right now. Emails and texts fly back and forth daily. My brother Mark lives in Arizona and is the only one of us not in the Eastern Time Zone. He says he hears his phone ting very early in the morning and thinks “the Village is up”.
I do have to head home eventually and when I do it will be so difficult. I have spent my days with her, reassuring her, making sure she eats and trying to keep her amused. Sticker books and easy crafts have occupied a little of our time, reading and listening to music, talking and trying to soothe her worries provide distractions and diversions for days when she just wants to go to sleep to avoid thinking about her current state of affairs.
But I am fine. She is still my mom, she still knows she loves me and yesterday when I walked by her she said “come here”. I did and she gave me the absolute best hug I have had in a very long time. That, my friends, is what it is all about. The love in our family is strong.