Bloganuary prompt (using last week’s prompt that I skipped):
Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.
“C’mon, Mom, it’s time for dinner!”
She wandered around, looking lost. “Should I go upstairs?”
“No, we’ll eat in the dining room.”
“But what about him? He needs to eat.”
“I think he’ll be fine” (no idea who he is).
“My husband will be hungry! I’m going to get him!”
I try not to allow looks of pity and sometimes my face betrays me. My heart was breaking.
Her bottom lip started quivering. “He’s gone, isn’t he?”
“Yes, Mom, he is. I’m so sorry.”
Sobs erupted. She screams, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
“Oh, Mom.” I hugged her. “It’s so hard without him, isn’t it?” I held her for several minutes as she sobbed.
She sniffled then said she’d be alright, so I sat in my seat opposite her at the dining room table. We joined hands across the table.
Right before we said the blessing, she looked up and asked, “How long has he been gone?”
“Almost three years, Mom. We were so lucky to be with him as long as we were. He was a great husband and Dad, wasn’t he? This is what I loved about him…”
This is what I’ve been advised to do by her doctors, and my goodness, this is so far out of my comfort zone. Constantly trying to divert the conversation away from Dad’s death, which is one of the very few things she remembers, to other subjects, which she can’t remember. She can’t recall any memories of Dad, other than his death, and when I share memories, the majority of the time she’ll say, “Hm. I don’t remember that.”
Alzheimer’s is such a heartbreaking disease. I’m watching my Mom’s brain die, day by day. It feels like she’s declining so quickly, and her doctors advise me that the disease is progressing slowly. I’m constantly calling on my meditation practice, reminding myself of equanimity, and anicca, and appreciating the moment for what it is, knowing it too, will pass.