Friday, August 4, 2017

She's Come Undone....

No.... I'm not talking about Wally Lamb's book.

I'm talking about my mother.

For the past two years, I've tried to put down on "paper" what has been going on in me & the sibs lives since my mother has increasingly approached the stages of Alzheimers/Dementia, but nothing would come. Just a swirl of words that all wanted to be spoken at once. And drove me away from writing anything.

My mother started showing signs of 'strangeness' two years ago. It started with simple forgetting little things and escalated to full blown what the hell, if you will. Little things like she couldn't remember her way around town, even though she grew up here. At first, she would play things off as a joke, but as time went on, I knew something was up.

I've read that if one is already a 'candidate' for this disease, any type of trauma can bring it on ten fold.

I think this happened when my sister (who owns my mother's home) told her that due to my mother not living up to her end of the responsibilities they agreed upon, she wanted mom out of her home to put it up for sale. I TRULY believe that kicked mom in the sensitive part of the brain & the decline began.

And with reason: mom at that time was 82 years old, she just lost her cat and now her own daughter was asking her to vacate the home she's lived in for over 20 years with no replacement options in sight. It was quite a blow as it would be for anyone. I remember driving around town with mom looking for potential places she might want to live, not knowing any facts about her income or anything about her personal finances. It was a heartbreaking fiasco to say the least.

Mom was an extremely independent woman - ALWAYS!!! So I believe that she, too, realized something was different in herself, but she would never admit it. Even after the 'house situation' was 'straightened out' as much as it could be, she was never the same.

Her beloved driving became erratic to the point of us having to take her truck. She drove down the railroad tracks - with a train coming head on - and denied it (she thought it was a street); she began leaving in the night, swearing it broad daylight and ending up MILES away from her home with no answer to why or where she was trying to go. After the 3rd incident involving the County Sheriff, we couldn't let her continue to be behind the wheel. For her safety and for the safety of others.

To keep this post semi-brief, I'll bring you to present day. Me & the sibs feel like we're at a hand-tied stale mate. Mom won't let us do ANYTHING around her home other than my brother keeping the lawn cut, but everything else has gone straight to hell. Her home is dirty, her hygiene is deplorable (I've NEVER seen her anything other than pristine), her clothes are dirty (she can't remember how to do laundry, yet will fight my sisters and I to the death if we try to do it), she barely eats because she can't remember how to cook (and be DAMNED if we can cook for her), and everything is just a mess.

I can't put my finger on how I feel exactly besides extreme sadness at the 'loss' of my best friend, and also anger at her extreme stubbornness. Yet she's child like, yet not a child. With no filter to 'tame' her brain and thoughts, she's exposed secrets to us that we never dreamed of about our lives. This has put us all in such an awkward place of hurt and disbelief. We still take her to the grocery, for rides, doctor appts., but we don't hang around like we used to. No one wants to sit in her dirty, cat-hair covered home, she has no conversation to remember to speak of, so........

And this has affected the way we are individually. Since her place was always the gathering place, where do we gather now? And all of our conversations when we do get together are dominated about 'mom'.

Every day is new .... something. She alerted us all and told us her purse was stolen when it was actually right there in her house. When she discovered where she put it, she told us the police returned it to her.

It's the beginning of a very long, painful good bye. And it pierces my heart. To death.

I love you, mom, forever. Picture by me :-(




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