Friday, March 11, 2011

Some Perspective

It started out with little things.

I'd visit her and the same book would be bookmarked to the same page as it was during my last visit the week before.  Resistance by Anita Shreve.  It hadn't moved an inch on her end table, and I didn't have the heart to take it back, even if she wouldn't have missed it.  Used to be she'd devour a book in a couple of days.  We'd traded books back and forth for years.  I couldn't bring her enough and she read just about anything but always loved something with a little romance.  We'd sit and talk about all the books we'd read over Diet Cokes.  Our own little book club, she and I. 

Then we learned she couldn't drive anymore so we sold her car.  Holidays would come and go and she'd forget how to cook dishes that she'd cooked for years--all of our favorites like mashed potatoes, cranberry relishes, and delicious cakes.  She couldn't remember what she cooked the day before.  She didn't remember if she needed milk or butter or something for dinner.  She forgot birthdays.  She forgot anniversaries.  Sometimes she even forgot our names.

And then every once in a while, even as she sat listening to all the conversation around her, her eyes would brighten and she'd be back.  She flickered like a candle.  I'd reach for her soft hand and I'd think, I've missed you, Mom.  Please stay a while.  Don't go away.  Don't forget... 

If you have parents, please hug them as soon as you can.  If you're dealing with a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer's, I'm sending you a virtual hug today.  Stressing about an unfinished manuscript or word counts seems unimportant today. 

xoxo

25 comments:

Donna Cummings said...

Liz, you are so right about what seems unimportant today. And hugs to you. Lots of them. I dealt with something similar with my mom, and even though it was a long time ago, I still miss so many things we shared--especially her love of books and reading.

Misha said...

*Hugs* Wow, thanks for putting things into perspective.

Going off to hug my mom.

:-)

Colette said...

Oh what a touching message. Big hugs to you and your Mom.

Maria Zannini said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. The same thing happened to a lady I loved very much. She was as close to me as my own mother.

Toward the end she would ask about Isis (one of my dogs). She would forget my name, but she still remembered Isis. The dog had died many years before, but I'd always promise to bring her by next time.

Hugs to your mom and to you.

Heather M. Gardner said...

You and your mom are in my thoughts today.

I will make sure to hug my parents this weekend.

Thank you for sharing something so personal to remind us all about what is important.

gideon86 said...

Here's a bear hug from me, Liz....

My parents are long gone. They died young, so I never watched them sip away before me.

Loosing or parent in one way or another is just one of the many crosses adults have to bear.

Take care,

Michael

Linda Leszczuk said...

I lost my dear mom to Alzheimers five years ago. I remember a moment not long before she died when I stopped in to sit with her. She looked at me without recognition as I told told her it was me. Then the fog lifted and she reached out her hands to my face and said, "Oh, Linda. My baby."

Hold on to those moments. They will sustain you.

E.C. Smith said...

Sending a cyber hug your way, Liz. It's so hard. It was the same with my Grandma. She slipped away from us a little at a time. I still miss her.

Off to hug my Mom too!

Liz Fichera said...

Thanks so much for the support and hugs today. Watching your parents get old is not easy but I try to be thankful for each day they're still with me. xo

Anne R. Allen said...

What a beautiful, poignant post. It is one of life's greatest tragedies--watching a spirit fade out of a body.

I'm having to deal with this with a friend who has a kind of early onset dementia called fronto-temporal dementia. It attacks people 45-65. They don't so much forget things as change personality and become inappropriate and strange. Most people think my friend must be drinking or abusing drugs, but it's just a vicious disease eating at her brain.

My heart goes out to you and your mom.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've not had to deal with this, but other health issues have caused me to really think about my relationship with my parents.

M Pax said...

Hugs to you. A very touching post. I pray everyday my brothers, sister and I don't have to deal with this.

Angelina Rain said...

Hugs to you, Liz. I’m very sorry about your mom, that must be very painful.

Sherri said...

{{hugs}}

A beautiful, poignant post Liz.

Sending positive thoughts for you and your family.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Heartbreaking. It definitely shifts everything into perspective. *hugs* Liz.

Liz Fichera said...

Wow. Thanks very much for the kind words and hugs. They mean a lot. It's been a tough week so I really can't tell you how much I appreciate it. And also how much I feel for those of you going through the same thing. xo

Jean Davis said...

Very touching post. Hugs! My grandmother is going through this right now. I'm grateful she still recognizes me, though she's forgotten my kids and my husband. Thanks for the reminder that I should visit her again soon.

L'Aussie said...

Sadly you are so right Liz. I've lost both my parents now. The first sign we had that my father had had a stroke was when he was reading a magazine and kept turning pages backwards and staring at the same page for ages - okay, I know some of us might like to read a mag like that but he didn't usually.

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Danette said...

It is hard to watch them go... and fade away like that. Reminding those we love that we love them is something we never want to take for granted... thanks for the reminder.

Nas Dean said...

So sad. Reading your whole post is so heart-breaking. Unfortunately both my parents are no more.

Margo Benson said...

I knew from your opening words where this beautiful piece was going. My heart is with you. I lost my Mother to vascular dementia and the demise of booksharing was truly hearbreaking. Hugs.

Regina said...

We really need to pay more attention to the people around us and less about stressing over the little things. I love the perspective that you have laid out in front of us in this post. *hugs*

Marianne Arkins said...

Oh... make me cry like a baby...

I lost my dad nearly ten years ago, and my mom is currently 3000 miles away (and I resent every one of them). You're so right about taking time to appreciate the important things.

(((((hugs))))

Liz Fichera said...

Thanks so much for your comments and hugs. It was a particularly hard week last week and your comments meant a lot to me.

KO: The Insect Collector said...

You're making me tear up a little. Thanks for this reminder.