The past couple of days have been so hard for me. Christmas day, I took Mom with me to my Daughters, she seemed to enjoy the greatgrand kids, one is 4, the other 3 months. She also ate very well.
On the way back to the nursing home she ask me where she was and when we pulled up in front of the home she ask me what the place was.
She had a blank look in her eyes all day, I got her settled in her room and she begged me to spend the night.
I went to see her yesterday and she doesn't remember going anywhere for Xmas, I stayed a short while and left broken hearted.
I hate holidays-their so hard-brings out so many nasty emotions.
During the Holidays of 2008, I was a regular visitor of a close friend in the AIDS unit at North General Hosp. here in NYC. His memory failed often, sometimes not remembering who I was. Other times he'd get angry for no apparent reason and throw food at me. To complicate matters, the thin line between reality and fantasy had become so blurred that he suffered vivid hallucinations. The doctors, nurses, and orderlies sometimes were angels coming to take him to heaven, or Mexicans in his closet and Freddie Krugers about to slash him.
Every day, after work, I'd swing by the ward to see if he was making progress. He wasn't, so I tried to make him as comfortable as possible. We remembered the good times together and laughed till it hurt and he went to sleep. And every day I'd walk around the corner of 122nd St. & Madison to the train station with my heart shrinking and tears streaming down my face.
The last time I visited was Xmas Day, bringing flowers, homemade Puerto Rican pastries, balloons, and a quilt all the neighbors in my building put together. ... His bed was empty. His family, believing AIDS is divine retribution for a sinful and immoral life, turned their backs on him years ago. He died as he said he would: alone.
So hang in there Nance! Caregivers often have to embrace the pain and try to grow with it. You are doing the best you can with what you have, and your mother knows it; fading memories and all.
There is a song by Carly Simon that says there is more room in a broken heart. I think about that as I watch my parents change.
It is a true fact that there has never been a "perfect" holiday in any family - marketing, movies and "other people's lives" aside - holidays are just another family day with fruitcake!
Then of course we had to write funny things in it, like 'mom likes me more than my brother' stuff like that.