So this is it. By writing these words I am acknowledging that my mother is on her way to a place where only she will reside.
Mummy has Alzheimer's Disease. Well OK, she has Dementia but though the Dementias are many they all generally seem to lead to the same Isolation Island. The medication is the medication, but really doesn't stop (nor indeed does it seem to slow) the progress of the disease.
We've been on this road now for nearly three years. The first year, I was in denial I suppose. I was insisting that she function like the Mummy I knew, but essentially, what had already happened was that Mummy was gone and Barbara had joined us. Last year, I spent a great deal of time being angry that she wouldn't do things. She wouldn't try things and when she did, she did so very half-heartedly. Again, what did I know? I was busy with my own challenges and had little patience for half-hearted approaches to anything. Little did I know that 'half' was about 'all' she had to give.
This year, well this week, something changed. We went to the physician and her profile looked frighteningly like my grandfather's on his last day on earth. Nothing like the realization that you're on a journey to the 'other side' to give you a fresh new perspective. So here I am, like an addict admitting my addiction. She's traveling to a place where she will be entirely alone. My job, and I have chosen to accept it, is to journey with her as far as I can and make her as happy as I can along the way. More than that I cannot do. So, we'll go to the Kennedy Center when we can. I'll take her to museums when I can and make sure she stays in touch with friends (many of whom she is already beginning to forget), as best I can.
At the end of the day, I don't know how much anything I do will lift the clouds descending in her head, but I'd like to think that some of it does and will make a difference. As I said to a friend yesterday, I have to try to create happiness in the moment. Beyond that, God will have to supply the increase.