Day 5 - free choice but this time list 3 reasons why you have chosen it.
- I wish you could know I was thinking of you
- I want to remember the happy times - now so so long ago
- 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.