Yesterday was Mother’s Day...a day to celebrate all that is motherhood. I had a wonderful day with my daughter and my son-in-law’s family. With my own mother, not so much...
it started out to be a good day. I picked Mom up from the assisted living facility and took her to church with me. I seldom take her out anymore because she just gets too confused, and let me just state right here and now—I am not blaming her for the less-than-perfect day. I am blaming myself for having unrealistic expectations of a Alzheimer’s patient. I had somehow gotten it into my head she would enjoy a day with the family, when she seldom does. She loves it one-on-one, or maybe two-on-one. With the whole clan...not so much.
She was great during the church service. She was even singing along with her own words, hugging me and holding my hand. I am certain that years of her and Dad singing duets at almost every church in Knoxville were a major factor in her contentment. I know we had a wonderful morning, and she was happy. Things didn’t start to go south until we got to the in-laws house.
I don’t know what happened, and I don’t believe it was a specific thing, because let’s face it...it you don’t have a good time at Steve and Sherry Smith’s house, then you don’t gave a good time anywhere. Just sayin’...however, something must have triggered her because she started mumbling under her breath, gesturing, and trying to get up and leave by herself. At 2:30, I finally gave up and took her back home. She wasn’t real content there, either, but at least she settled down.
I am aggravated with myself today. I knew better, but like the Little Engine That Could, I pressed on anyway, knowing it was dicey. I will not make this mistake again. For those of you read this, if you don’t have someone you love who struggles with Alzheimer’s, thank the Lord above. It is a horrible, devastating disease that steals the heart and soul of your loved one, but leaves the body here. I find myself caring for a stranger trapped in my Mother’s little body. There is nothing about it that is easy. Yet, I do it, not because I want praise or glory for it, but because that is still my Mother, even if the brain belongs to someone else. I just want the last years of that “someone else” to be happy ones, and I fear they will not be. And if they won’t be happy ones, maybe I’ll settle for contented ones...there are worse things to be.
Even though our day was difficult at times, I have to be mindful that we don’t know what our future holds. Only God knows that. I can’t imagine making it through life without Him. He is my Constant, in the midst of a storm. He is Hope in the midst of bleakness. He is Shelter in the midst of a spiritual housing crisis. He is Lord, and that is enough.