Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A Photo a Day Challenge 5/365

Day 5 - free choice but this time list 3 reasons why you have chosen it.

  1.  I wish you could know I was thinking of you
  2. I want to remember the happy times - now so so long ago
  3. I'm so frightened of receiving "that" phone-call

A bit of a morbid one this.  I'm playing the waiting game today.  I lost my mother to Alzheimers about 5 years ago.  After a decade of declining memory (which began when she was only 57) - that was how long ago she finally failed to recognize me.  Instead I instantly became "Who's that woman?" and the full focus of her hatred and temper on a daily basis, culminating with her attacking me with a knife.  It was at this point 3 years ago, that we knew we could no longer care for her.  She wasn't just a danger to herself, she was a danger to all around her.

Since that time, I really thought I'd come to terms with it - and thought I'd gone through the stages of grieving.  I only realised yesterday that I'd missed one big stage.  I've done the anger, depression, acceptance - the one thing I've never done is cry.

Yesterday, when I received the call from the home that Mum is fading fast - was like a sledgehammer blow to the heart.  She's stopped eating and drinking and it is a matter of days until she's finally at peace.  I welcome this so much I can't begin to tell you.  Alzeihmer's is a disease you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.  A shell of a body left when the person you knew is long gone.

So today I'm just waiting for a phone call.  What I'm finding hardest to cope with is the knowledge that I am totally unable to say goodbye.   She will be dying, lost in her own little world that we have no knowledge of.  A world in which she was vehemently adament she had no daughter.  A world in which she hated me with a determination I will never be able to understand.  A world which held terror and fear when she was last able to show any expression.

Dear Mum - In the last week I've sat and held your hand, stroked your face - tried to remember the old songs you used to sing to me as a child.  I wavered a bit, but got through them all.  You haven't known I was there.  I hope with all my heart that you can drift off to a place where you are finally at peace.  If there are any thoughts remaining; please, please, please let them be happy ones, without fear or pain.

I do know how much you loved me once.  The terrible illness which stripped it all away - I know you had no control over.  I only wish you could know just how much I love you.

At some point, I will be writing a lengthy piece about Alzheimers.  It's something I need to do, as it's been an horrific part of my life for so long.  I hope it will be cathartic.


  1. Hugs from someone thats at a stage behind you with an older relative, I'm no longer recognised but thankfully my mum is.

  2. Not so many words but a big giant hug instead.... My FIL is fading away fast too and it is a rough time here at our house. Luckily he knows us and are somewhat happy to see us, but the desire to live is long gone and overshadows everything else.

  3. I wish I could help....

    There is an Alzheimer's quilt project. They have some amazing quilts in the collection. I'll have to try and find it for you.

  4. http://www.alzquilts.org/paq.html. Check it out.

  5. My heart cries for you. *hugs*

    My maternal grandmother had Alzheimers; her behaviour was bizarre but I only visited; my mother, her only child, lived with it daily.

    My dad passed away last year, my mum (aged 77) lives alone. I worry - they say it's heriditary - but I am 550km away and can do nothing except believe her friends when they tell me they are watching her.

  6. A beautiful and moving tribute.

  7. wow what a brave and moving post. What is there to say except that you did all you could, and that there are people there for you.

    love and healing in abundance to you X

  8. Really it's an awesome blog. Some things in here I have not thought about before. Thanks for the encouraging words.


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