My son and I visited my mother for Mother’s Day.
We were talking about the size of his feet. He was just saying how there are no more sizes for the shoes that he was wearing when my mother interrupted.
“That makes me remember the time that my bet friend Marilyn and I met these two guys…”
And she went on. Nothing about shoes but that is my mother.
There are stories that lead to others but hers was an “and then” without slight resemblance.
Mistake me not. I don’t write this to deride her but to point out how the mind of one with Alzheimers engages with the world – with her family – with me.
Visiting my parents this past Saturday gave me insight into my mother’s brief stay at Washington State University.
She and her good friend tried to get on the Clydesdale horses that lived in a small barn at the veterinary school. Her friend used hay to lure the horses and my mother swung from the string that hanged on the ceiling. She lowered herself on one of the horses and this story ended while another continued as such…
She talked with the dean of the veterinary school about enrolling but no women were allowed to become veterinarians at that time.
New stories stolen from underneath a sheath of neurons hidden among the plaque of Alzheimer’s? I don’t know. But they are entertaining and perfect in her own way.
My mother took me aside today and told me about hearing a voice.
“It will all be over soon.”
In regards to her death, I remember being aware that my mother could die during my childhood.
Soon after my mother’s best friend died, my mother told me the following:
“I had a dream last night. Marilyn was in a beautiful garden. She waved me over and told me to come to her.”
I, too, was given the impression on New Year’s Eve that this would be my last year. It came on very strong. But does that mean I need to live in fear or dread? No. Resting in the feeling of each moment helps me to be.
Soon after my mother told me about hearing this voice, she berated my dad and I for not letting her row. I have taken it upon my hands to coordinate a good time with her neighbor who has a Skiddoo, and a movie crew to film her leap into the water.
Water, earth, and sky and her first love was the water.
I cried when my mom told me. I hate that my parents see themselves in their last days. My dad just turned 78 and my mother is 86. They still have years to live!
It could be “soon” or “come” but I prefer to feel the state of being.
As I become un-attached to people, places, things, and ideas, I find myself caring more about them…but removed. From the center of a relaxed moment, un-attached, I am able to feel clearly (and with clarity) people, places, things, and ideas where I can engage.
My parents share an over-attachment to people.
I wonder if this attachment, almost an obsession with other people, causes the predetermination of Alzheimer’s.
I love being un-attached – not detached. More caring, less obsession.
Love the beauty of this walk as I discover life.
Sitting with my youngest after a very long day. A beautiful day filled with love at work, time with friends, and giving blood. A day to end, sitting with Ruth – my Ruth.
Sitting with her while writing this blog gathers thoughts to sharing a hand in hand with my mother.
Remembering great and wonderful times without attachment brings healing and love to those moments share from my mother to my daughter.
Pure beautiful enjoyment of love.
And now a kiss on my cheek from my Ruth. Blessed.
I have become a firm believer that it is never too late to do anything. After watching active older adults play a concerto on the piano to running in a marathon, I believe the brain to be a miraculous being.
Urging my parents to check out Dr Daniel Amen’s SPECT Imaging is my current drive. Even at 86, I believe that my mother can thwart the incoming dementia with aplomb.
This calls for hand holding of the wonderful kind…hand in hand as we walk through this process.
Faith, trust, and hope.
Oh how the flesh/ego cries against the spirit/child. How it wants to be heard in the soft murmured depths of the spirit/child.
To utterly feel the heat of pain as it flushes my cheeks, burns in my chest, and dulls my bones. To feel the hurt of a dreadful loss. To just feel and not think about it. To feel every ounce of my flesh/ego cry out in pain – its need to connect versus the patience held by my spirit/child.
To truly feel.
I am the tie breaker. One who stands in front of my children. Everything happens to me first then immerses…slowly…to them. As I grow and learn, so do they. Change is possible at any age, in any time, in the moment, and with love and patience. We must learn to love ourselves – to enjoy fully the universe of our own soul – the spirit/child.
If only I could wrap my mother’s thoughts into a woven pattern, guised for her health.
Feeling the heaviness of the present pain – the crushing weight of self-inflicted hurt. Thankful I am surrounded by beauty and love, I breathe.