Thursday, December 27, 2012

Caring for mom and building memories

As I watch my mom, who has Alzheimer's, I sit and wonder if she remembers. Sometimes a name comes out, sometimes she looks at me as though she remembers I am her son. That is what some folks and Doctors may call false hope a twinkle in time they may have.

I know my mom does not remember who I am, or that I am her son caring for her, but when she has one of those moments I don't take it as a false moment of hope. I savor the moment, at that time she is herself again and I take that as a gift.

My wife and I are caring for my mom who, for so many years cared me and my sisters. She was always there, though at times not to my comfort ha ha. My mom was a strong independent women afraid of nothing and no one. Now she is frightened to even have us roll her from side to side as we clean her.

This is very hard since I remember her as just the opposite, she was the one who cared for those in need, she was the one who took care of my grandparents till they passed. She was the one everyone called on in time of need.

She was not a perfect person at all, she had her flaws just like we all do, yet when it came to caring for others she was quite the opposite. So when I sit with her during the day I watch her expressions and wonder does she remember a bit, or is she struggling to figure it all out? I don't know, I do know this she is still mom.

I do know that she remembers even if it is a twinkling in time she has her moments and I try to take those moments in. Not at all as false hope she will get better, as I know she will not, but as a moment in time she has enjoyment and purpose. I see the peace in her face when she knows she is being cared for as she cared for others.

We need to worry less about what our folks do not remember and savor the times they do remember and keep a real sense of hope that they have a little something to hang on to! I do not understand this illness, as most do not, but I know I do better caring for her when I spend less time trying to figure it all out and just treat her as mom.

I have heard many stories and struggles folks have, all are different I know, no two people are the same and situations vary. But I do know this, at that twinkle of time they remember give them some good memories not reminders of the wrong they do or have done! If we can forget us for a moment, and give them a moment, memories can be made.

 Maybe, just maybe, we can come to a point in our lives that wondering what mom, dad, uncle, aunt, sister, etc. remembers is not as important as the memories!