My mother lives with us. Well actually, she only lives with us several months out of the year because my sisters and I share her. She was here last summer and I was so busy, I never got a chance to really think about her, her needs, and quite honestly, my own needs. This year because of circumstances, I am able to really be a caregiver. You see, my mother has dementia. Doesn’t that sound like a good reason for a cry or at least a theme for a good pity party? After reading so many articles and trying to learn about this very crippling condition, nothing has really helped. There are no solid answers because apparently, each case is truly unique and there is no turning back the clock and no cure.
Being one who journals, I decided to start writing down all we experience because I am being shaped – being changed AND because we have our good days and our bad days. Part of me wants to hold on to her while she still has some semblance of memory. After all, she has not forgotten all of it…yet. I think the best reason is that I have a lot to learn and this is the best way to keep track of all of it.
These past two weeks, I have been with her 24/7 and have learned quite a bit about her and much to my surprise, myself. I am sure our “stories” will unfold over the future entries but I am sure our stories are much like those of many others. I turned 56 just a week after mom became a wonderful 84 so yes, I am a middle aged woman taking care of her mother as if she were a little child – sort of.
Mom arrived with a temporary live-in caregiver to stay while I finished out my last couple of weeks at work. To be honest, my first thoughts were that we needed a caregiver so that I could cope with the challenges I had faced last summer. Well, that coverage left on June 28th so I found myself alone with mom for the first time since September of 2016.
Just a head’s up – I will be mentioning God quite a bit. I am or thought I was, a pretty strong Christian woman who could take on just about any challenge and because I happen to be short, never backed away from much especially if someone mentioned that #1 I was a woman and #2 I was “small in stature”. I thought I understood so much until my 4’8″ mother with dementia came to live with us.