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.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.

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.

-- ED

:) Having just arrived home from a large family gathering, the only change I would make to your post would be to change the last word to "fruitcakes", and I'm not talking about the pastry. Gotta love 'em! :)

Just love her the way she is, and remember the good times. Hanging on to what was (the past) is what breaks your heart - if you let go of it, and yes it does take work and self-reflection, then you will be able to take things day to day. The negative emotions you are feeling are getting in the way of the compassion and love you would like to feel. If she doesn't remember it won't change, that is part of her aging - all you can do is change how you feel about it. If you are lucky enough to still have her, then be kind to yourself and allow yourself to enjoy the good.

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!

I took a 'composition book' that I got from Office Depot, and put a drawn picture of a brain on the front. I put the words "Marjie's brain book' on the front. It became a journal that we used every time we took her somewhere or did something with her. We put the date and always printed in it. She had more fun having one of us read it to her once in a while about what we had done with her, even though she couldn't remember. We have been lax of late in writing in it, because she has mentioned that we need to start writing in the 'brain book' again. It was a pain to do EVERY TIME we went somewhere or did something, but well worth it.
Then of course we had to write funny things in it, like 'mom likes me more than my brother' stuff like that.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter