In the danger zone - reflecting on what used to be.
Reflecting back on what used to be is difficult because it brings too much sadness, but I'm finding it a hard habit to break especially with the holidays. This is the first year that my mom with ALZ and I have not gone holiday shopping, the first year we will not be at mom & dad's house to celebrate and the first year without a gift exchange. Even though mom is still here, these traditions are gone. She doesn't show signs of knowing any difference, but it is breaking my heart. Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if she were gone. Mourning the loss of so much while the person is physically still present is a struggle. I walk around the mall and all I see are mothers & daughters together while I am alone. I miss her voice, I miss the look of love in her eyes, and I miss the emotional connection.
Instead, what is offered is a meal at 5:30 on Christmas day at my sister's house. I can barely tolerate her and only put up with her to keep peace in the family. She has been married to a verbally and emotionally abusive man for 25 years. She has adult children who rarely look up from their cell phones, and never take any effort to help with setting the table or cleaning dishes.
My mom's best friend died 3 months ago and she was like an Aunt to me. The warmth of family members I had as a kid is mostly gone. To move from that to having to spend time with relatives who are argumentative and distant makes me nauseus. I guess I should be happy for what I did have for so many years and focus on making new routines or volunteering. Any comments on someone going through similar? Suggestions? Thanks for reading and bless you during this holiday season.