Friday, April 22, 2016

Tears for My Mommy

Right now, I'm not feeling the hurt and anger I've felt for so many whole life...over the way my mother treated me.  Instead, I weep.  No. I sob!  Over what is happening to her.  Over the loss of my mommy.  Dementia is evil!  It's horrible!  It's mean!  I hate what it is doing to her.  It's not fair for her to lose her mind like this.  It's so painful for those of us that love her!

I woke up this morning and just started sobbing about this.  I'm writing this through blurry, tear filled eyes, with momentary stops to sob and grab a tissue.  It's interesting how things are changing...

I've gone from hurt and anger over how our relationship has always been; how she never seemed happy with me; how negative she's always, now, where all I see is this tiny woman who needs us.  She's sad.  She's afraid.  And, she truly needs us to help guide her, keep her from getting lost, help her make decisions, help her to make sense out of simple tasks like choosing something from a menu and ordering at a restaurant.

She's moving from her anger stage to realizing that her mind is changing.  That's very hard for her and she's been crying a lot.  I can only begin to imagine what it would be like in her shoes.

She's given up on getting her driver's license back.  I know that must have been so hard for her.  But, it's a good thing because it's safer and we won't worry about her losing her way.

My dad says she still has moments of anger and she rants.  The rants are mostly about me and things that she's dreamed up that aren't true.  But, I think...I hope, those moments are becoming less angry and less often.

She was getting so angry that my dad would tell me to just stay away as to avoid making it worse. However, staying away didn't seem to be helping.  So, I've started going over there more.  I've been taking her clothes shopping and then picking my dad up and going out to lunch with them.  The time together is allowing me to see how much more she's changed than I even realized.

I've been taking her clothes shopping because she's lost so much weight that her clothes are huge on her.  Not to mention, very outdated.  On our first shopping trip, she insisted that she was a size 8-10. I really felt she was more like a four or six but she insisted.  So, we pulled larger sizes and she tried them on.  They were huge!  I started bringing her things in smaller and smaller sizes until a pair of size six pants fit.  When she's in clothes that actually fit, it's amazing how tiny she is and those size six pants are a bit loose.  She could possibly wear things even smaller.  Below her waistline, she's probably about a size two.  And, she's barely five feet tall.  So, she's very tiny.

We found one pair of pants on the first outing and she seems to be enjoying having something that fits.  She's been wearing them a lot.  And, she seems to enjoy the compliments she's gotten from my dad about how nice they look on her.

We went shopping again yesterday.  She went straight to the larger sizes again.  I just started pulling smaller sizes and she eventually joined me in that search.  It was interesting that when we went into the fitting rooms that she started changing without closing the door.  I reached in and closed it for her.  After showing me the first thing she tried on, she left the door open again and it seemed better to just let it stay that way than to keep asking her to step aside so I could close it.  There was no one else in the area we were in.  So, I figured it was fine.  But, it was interesting that it seemed like privacy never crossed her mind.  We only found one pair of pants yesterday.  I guess we'll eventually have a new wardrobe for her.  It just may take a while.  But, it gives us a reason to get together and something to do.  And, I'm hoping that nice, new, well fitting, updated clothes will give her a lift.

Through our time together the past few weeks, I'm noticing how her mind has changed so much more than I even realized.  She repeats more than before.  And, she also seems to get a little confused or lost in more situations than before.  Those times seem to require a little gentle guidance to help her through.

What is happening to my mom is hardest on her, I'm sure.  But, it's so incredibly hard for my dad.  He's cried a lot of tears lately.  However, they've decided to move onto my brother's property and that seems to have given my dad a huge lift.  He's planning projects to work on there and making lists.  It's great to see him excited about it.  It'll be nice for them to be close to my brother in case they need help.  And, it will be nice for them to be closer to their doctors and medical facilities.  They're currently about forty miles from the hospital and doctors on their insurance plan.

I find it interesting how I've gone from feeling so hurt about how my relationship with my mom has always been and how badly she's always talked about me, to feeling so sad for her and just needing to care for and help her.  I have always appreciated the many things I learned from my mom growing up but I'm appreciating them more than ever before.   Even the tiniest of how to thread a needle or set the table.

I've always loved her even though I often wondered if she loved me.  But, now, I'm starting to find ways to see beneath the things she says and does to see that she probably loves me too.  I'm grasping those little revelations and holding onto them with all my might! And, I'm trying to cherish every moment I have with her, even though those moments can be hard. I love my mommy!