I'LL REMEMBER FOR BOTH US
(5 AM . . . The moments when you really hate dementia.)
Shortly before 5 am, I hear #MyFavoriteGirl stirring around because I happened to have gone to the restroom and was up. For about 5-7 minutes, I watch her walk the same course back and forth (thanks to technology), from her room, to the bathroom, to the back door, to my room door, back to hers, to the restroom... Unless you've experienced watching your loved one go through this state, you won't fully understand the feeling that comes along with it. Dementia is so cruel. Nonetheless, I got up and went out to redirect her back to bed. She sees me as I walk out and towards her and says, "Hey, how you doing." To which I reply, "I'm good. Let's get you back to bed." HER: I've been looking cause I didn't know where I was. ME: I know. Let's go in your room so you can get back to bed. HER (in her room): Where's the bed, right there? ME: Yes ma'am. HER: Oh, thank God. Thank you so much. You gone be here? ME: Yes ma'am, I live here! HER: Oh, thank you so much. Don't leave me now, okay? ME: I'll be right here. HER: Wake me up if you leave now, ok? ME: Ok!
This, my friends, is what most of our days look like. Not that she's up every night/early morning, but she has no recollection of one moment to the next. Some days, I can see the struggle that she goes through in knowing that something is not quite right. There are times when her look of fear from not knowing, not understanding, is paralyzing to me. It's an experience of life like none other, for sure. There are days when I long for the mom before dementia. I must admit, I deeply miss my "momma." I love her the same. Perhaps, even more deeply now. I'll never forget the day that I took her to the nuerologist at the beginning stages of the diagnosis. One of the tests they give is where they say a series of words and the patient has to repeat them back in sequential order. The doctor says the words to my mom and then tells her to repeat them back. After a brief struggle in trying to remember the words and order in which they were said, she looks up at me, quaintly smiles and says, "I just can't remember!" I simply replied, "It's okay, you don't have to; I will remember for both of us!" Today, I REMEMBER for both of us. Not just what she can no longer do, but I remember her love, her sacrifices, the way she took care of me and my siblings, her heart for people, her love for God. . . I REMEMBER!
Yep, things are different but my love for #MyFavoriteGirl will always remain. She's the same person, she just functions differently because of this disease of the brain. I'm grateful that God graced me to serve her at this stage in her life. I have found His grace to [daily] be sufficient enough.
I love yall! Thank you for taking this Journey with us. Many of you pray for us and are an encouragement to me. I don't take it lightly. I stand on the strength of your prayers and love. I am #SimplyGrateful.