Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

My daily visit with Dad went well today.  He seems to be managing and coping well.  We talked about my difficulty in coming to the apartment and how, most times, I leave and find myself crying when I get to my car.  The memories for me in that apartment are difficult.  Dad said it was the opposite for him.  Although some aspects are painful, of course; he feels comfortable there because he has great memories with Mom in that space even though it was where she got so sick.  He remembers the paramedics taking her out for the last time, and he says when he starts to think about the hard memories, he looks at her picture and smiles.  He sees her photo next to her mom and dad’s and is happy for her, that she is with them now.  He is still anxious about the idea of living 20-30 years with her.  He cannot stand that thought but he’s not going to do anything to join her in a hurry.  He knows when it’s his time, he will go and be with her.  We talked about Mother's Day and he said, "yep...first one without her.  Very difficult".

We talked about the idea of moving and he’s very open to it.  The winters are hard for him and he does not like the long, cold winters.  He worries a lot if he has to ride in a car in the snow and he would prefer to be in warmer climate.  I’m very thankful he feels that way because I also want to be in warmer client.  So we decided today to try and figure out how we can move all three of us to Florida.  We will pray about this and explore all our options.  Ideally we would be ready by October 1 as his lease ends September 30th.  We can get out of our lease at any time. 

I enjoy conversing with Dad.  A lot of people do not engage him because, at first, his responses are short.  He rarely starts a conversation but if you go in to it with planned things to say you can be really surprised.  Alzheimer’s robs the memories, not the present moment.  As the disease progresses the erased/inaccessible memories will begin to impede what happens in the current, the present.  Our access to our memories is what we call upon in our daily communications, in our daily activities, and in our dealings with other people.  As those are compromised, I understand the difficulties will increase.  I pray, as I’m sure most people do in my position that Dad’s memory of who I am will never fail.  Although it’s difficult, I cannot guarantee that he will always remember who Mom is but if I had to set money on it, I believe he will never forget.  Her fingerprint permeates every circuit in his brain and memory and I trust her presence will always be with him. 

Sunday was, of course, Mother’s Day. The day has now turned somewhat painful in light of having Mom in heaven, not here. But I chose to try and focus on all the things around me that Mom would have seen and taken in. The last couple of years of her life she had a profound appreciation for nature and the changing of the seasons. On a spring drive she once commented that she sees things totally different than before, and that colors even seemed more brilliant to her. So I looked for that. And found it. Thanks Mom, for opening my eyes even wider than they were before. I miss you and love you dearly. Dad is doing really well and we’re keeping a close eye on him. All his needs are met, his groceries are bought although he is probably eating way to many sandwiches. That’s slowly changing though. Just give him a little time to adjust. He misses you and loves you so much. But you know that.  so enjoy the images that I saw and thought of you, Mom.  Happy Mother's Day!

For you, Mom, I watched ducks on the water, and the fish swimming

I spent time thanking God for you, Mom, which I try to do every day

You helped me see beauty in simple things
you would have seen the elephant picking up
the large branch on the ground - do you see it, too?

You loved the flowering trees

and among the dead leaves and branches - life still emerges!

1 comment:

Stephen Girard said...

God I miss her so much... Wish I could have spent more time with her.
Beautiful photography Kurt.