Recently I had an epiphany that my blog may be of interest to my boys in later years. They will have some insight into my thoughts real-time. Because I am unable to communicate with my mom, I try to think about what she may be thinking or what she would do in a situation. #WWJD?? ha! What Would Judy Do? ok maybe not that funny, but humor heals. I try to get that thought out of my head because the writing is for me and I don’t want it to be for anyone else. If a byproduct of that gives my adult kids some insight into who I am or was, that is just an interesting item to ponder.
I do not write for sympathy, but possibly for empathy. I do not need sympathy because I have a great life, but empathy for the challenges, the hurdles, well that blanket is always welcome. When I write about Bryan it is multifaceted; some part venting, some part pride, some part educational, some part awareness. I am not that self-conscious about it, it just is what it is. Writing about Alzheimer’s and my mom poses much more introspection. Is it right to do that? Am I violating her privacy? Would she be upset with me if she knew that I shared certain things? WWJD? As Judy she would be mad, she would feel this is private and a bit humiliating I suppose. As my Mom she would be proud and a little envious, to be truthful, that I would have the confidence and nerve to put it out there. My mom was always the good girl, the peace keeper, the voice of reason.
At my mom’s place the residents are allowed to go outside on their own. The property is very secure with high fences. They have pretty trees and flowers and multiple areas for sitting and relaxing. Over the summer the residents had to stay indoors because it is way way too hot here. Now they are starting to go outside again and the weather is starting to get gorgeous. There are nice warm breezes and sunny days. When the weather here is nice, which it is 75% of the time, it literally lifts your spirits. She fell outside on the grass. She falls often inside and out. Her sense of space is off and she shuffles along slowly so I can easily see how if she walked on the grass it would be tough to maneuver. My dad called me at work so upset; upset she fell, upset because he had a juicy cold and could not go over there. My sister and I take turns dealing with these events, because on any given day either my dad or my mom needs some sort of assistance. This is the reality of aging parents. I guess the title to this blog should be BE NICE TO YOUR KIDS BECAUSE SOMEDAY THEY WILL BE TAKING CARE OF YOU!!. (So don’t judge if I buy Jason some extra cool clothes or give Bryan another Xbox game). My dad said a doctor was going to her place to take X-rays because she seemed to be in pain. It was my turn and I left work to go there. Hard to give the visual of assisting the mobile radiology tech trying to get my mom into the right position, but the most important thing is we got it done. She seemed ok, that’s on a crazy scale where ok is alive and sort of functioning. We shuffled down to the dining area and I fed her dinner. Feeding yourself is so basic, so human, so dignified. She cannot do this at all. It is not because she makes a mess or because she is shaky, it’s because she grabs, bites, etc. Let that one sink in for a minute. Because she cannot communicate when I am feeding her she stares right into my eyes. Sometimes the stare is warm and smiley, sometimes it’s angry and frustrated and sometimes it’s vacant. The last one is the killer. After dinner we went into the ante-room where they show movies typically from the 40s and 50s. They had one on that was starring Mickey Rooney who could not have been more than 15 or 16. After a bit, I had to leave to go home to the kids. Mother of the year picked up Chik-fil-a for them and literally the drive was me telling myself, don’t bring it home, don’t bring it home. I do not want my boys to see a sad or depressed mother. I don’t hide things so I told them what happened, minus the tough stuff, and they seemed ok. Between the hugs and kisses, and a snuggly dog, I was more of a sleepy mom which they have to come to accept. Today, it’s all about perspective. I am attending a viewing for a dear coworker who lost her son in a senseless shooting. My “troubles” are just the circle of life.