Last Saturday, I opened a small cafe. It is a nonprofit cafe that is run solely by volunteers. Only the Executive Director and the two chefs are paid employees. Opening the cafe gives me the chance to breathe a prayer of peace throughout the rooms.
I check my phone and saw that my dad had called. I called him back. He and my mother ended up having lunch at the cafe. My mother only needs hot water and eats very little.
I told her about the tea that the nonprofit uses. It’s called Compassion Tea and is another nonprofit. The tea is very fresh and always smells heavenly when being made. It’s one of the easiest drinks to make too.
My mother looked sad and hurriedly asked me to take some of her teabags so that we, the nonprofit, could give them to people.
I looked at her.
Taking a deep breath, I told her that a cafe couldn’t take tea from a patron and give it or sell it to others.
Her look of confusing cut me deeply. Fighting back tears, I walked to the counter to help other people.
I am getting better in that I didn’t feel lost when they left.
I felt sad that she is losing so much of herself…
Grasping for the hand that once led me.
Recently a friend asked me how I stayed healthy.
Health isn’t a sudden decision to make but a result of living a lifetime learning more about yourself and how to survive in a world driven by self and ego.
I am still not sure how to answer him but to help in some small way. To repeat myself when it is welcome/not welcome.
Health is a state of being. You either are or you’re not. Health doesn’t simply refer to the physical but spiritual and mental aspects. Health is a learned state of behavior, not something instantly changed by following another’s protocol.
Embracing health is crucial to exist in this self-inflated world.
Self and ego are lower forms of energy. They encourage the growth of illness.
I wish my mother would have learned this long time ago – it would save a lot of heartache for one who watches within the reach of a hand.
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.