Mother’s Day 2011

So, the stretch of really good days came and went, and now we’re just somewhere in the middle… not great, but could be worse. When I stopped to see Mom after work tonight, they said she’d been up since midnight, which would explain why she could barely keep her eyes open.

Although she wasn’t very interested in dinner, I did get her to eat almost everything on her plate. She was really quiet, though. Nonverbal, which is so odd for her. Aside from the big smile that lit up her face when I came in, she was mostly expressionless. I think I hate this almost as much as the explosive outbursts.

Speaking of outbursts, it seems over the past week, she’s gotten angry enough to slap several of the girls – hard – across the face.  Ah, that just makes me cringe. She has the best caregivers in the world, literally, and they don’t get paid enough to put up with most of what they have to deal with (did I mention Mom also showered one of the girls with her applesauce this morning…). Thank God there are people like the amazing caregivers at Eason House, who certainly don’t do what they do for the money. To say they are a blessing would be a gross understatement. There has to be a very special gathering spot in Heaven for each and every one of them.

As I sat there feeding Mom tonight, I had one of “those moments.”  The surreal moments where I’m mystically transported, and suddenly I’m on the outside looking in. I stand back and take in the scene before me, and just can’t believe this has become our reality. By now, none of this should be shocking, but it is at times. It truly is shocking. Perhaps it will always be that way. Perhaps I should stop letting that surprise me.

What can we do, but continue to take things one day at a time and avoid falling into the trap of worrying and wondering what tomorrow, next month, and next year hold.  We try to focus on the moments of joy and the fact that one day, there will be a viable treatment and even a cure.  It may not come in my lifetime, but it will come.  Studies like this one from Iceland, where researchers have identified a rare genetic mutation that appears to protect against Alzheimer’s; someday the world will know the benefits of research that takes place every single day, across the globe.

So, our visit ended after Mom finished her dessert. I walked her over to the couch, and covered her up with her favorite blanket (Steelers, of course!).  I put my arms around her and she fell into a peaceful sleep… Sweet dreams…