I will remember that you love me long past the point you have forgotten. #alzheimerssucks

February 20, 2015 · 11 comments

I have been struggling to write much about my mums  journey with alzheimers lately.  It’s hard and emotional and writing about it brings it fully into focus.     (In my own true style I’ve been trying to avoid that.)    But as a good friend told me recently you can’t bury your head in the sand forever – even though sometimes I really want to.   A few weeks back we made to tough decision to move mum out of her home.   We have been trying our damndest to preserve as much of her independence as possible, but in the end you have to balance that with personal safety and she had started to dance a little close to the line. 

Alzheimer sucks I will remember

One of the hardest things for me to deal with at the moment is her house – or more importantly her home.   Mum and I have spent most of the past couple of months slowly sorting through her endless piles of things.  She has always been  collector of stuff and very reluctant to throw things away – so there was quite a bit and we never reached the end. We slowly emptied out boxes and sorted through draws.  Sometimes we did them twice – because she’d forget and wouldn’t believe me that we’d been there before.  She talked about things from her past and sat shaking her head while she read old letters from friends and family she was struggling to recall.    I watched on seeing more and more clearly that she had forgotten her attachments and had begun to live only for the now. 

And then the day came the day she moved.    It feels to me like she left mid-sentence, leaving her world hanging and half completed.    But she didn’t seem to mind that so much was unfinished.    She spent her last few hours in her home doing what she normally did on any other day.   And then she simply got into my brother’s car and drove away. Her days as an independently functioning person of the world ended and there was no fuss or fanfare.    

alzheimers it hurts to know

For the first few weeks after she left I’d walk into her house to see her cardigan still sitting on the kitchen bench and her book resting open on the coffee table – all waiting dutifully for her to return.     For days I couldn’t bring myself to wash the plate and cup she left on the sink or to pack up any of her things – because  once I did those last little moments of her life at home were gone forever.

Mum has gone to live with my brother and his very accepting and giving wife.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the way they have taken this challenge on board and run with it.  (If you are reading this you guys totally rock!)  With three little people, and already having my ageing  father-in-law in our own granny flat, reality dictates that I couldn’t take on care of mum as well – even though deep down I feel like I should have.  Her life from this point is going to be better.  She’ll have companionship, be taken out regularly and get to live in the country.  All things she loves.  But most off all she will be safe and have people who love her to help her through this unexpected and unwanted last stage of her life’s journey.   I know she is lucky and I am grateful for that.     

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anthony February 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Great

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2 Michelle - jarrahjungle February 23, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Such an awful disease that affects many of us, all you can do is keep on loving and giving support and always remember how much she loves you even though she may not be able to express it xx
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3 Caz February 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Michelle, you are so very very right. Thanks for visiting too.
Caz recently posted..I will remember that you love me long past the point you have forgotten. #alzheimerssucksMy Profile

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4 Kirsty February 22, 2015 at 8:53 am

Caz, I can’t begin to imagine how hard this whole process would have been for your and for your family. Your mum is lucky to have family willing and able to be with her 24/7 and provide the care and companionship that she needs. I hope this gives you a level of confidence that she is safe x
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5 Caz February 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Thanks Kirsty – it tough but life isn’t always as we expect hey. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting 🙂
Caz recently posted..I will remember that you love me long past the point you have forgotten. #alzheimerssucksMy Profile

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6 Shayne D February 20, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Such a cruel disease. The tough decisions you have made are made out of love . Your Mum is lucky to have family that are willing and able to help. Hope writing the article was therapeutic for you and for all the other people dealing with the same terrible disease.

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7 Caz February 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm
8 Dorothy February 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Hugs. I know how hard this is for you. Good on you for sharing it with us. Your mum is very lucky to have you guys to take such good care of her.
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9 Caz February 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Thanks Dorothy – she is especially lucky to have a son like my brother. Makes the entire process so much easier to know she is being loved and supported.
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10 Cathy Nicholas February 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm

((hugs))

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11 Caz February 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Same back at you Cathy. I know you’re own path is not always easy.
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