Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Once a Man, Twice a Child"

I must say, things have been a little more relaxed around the Edwards' household than in the past four months since mother has come to live with us. I still have my days, but for the most part, I am adjusting.

I am able to see mother's dementia in a different light now, not to say, I don't still have my moments, because I do.

Recently, my youngest daughter made a statement to me which I already knew but couldn't fully grasp, "Mother, Mema is a child again." On many occasions, this statement has played true. I recall the morning I had given her pills to her, leaving her to take them with a cup of water, while I busied around. Entering the room, I can see that her water cup was missing. Many mornings I had experienced this event; the missing water, just where had mother thrown it. The answer to this question could be, in the gas log fireplace, down an old churn which held dried flowers or out on the deck. All of these have occurred. This morning I ask, "mother, where did you put your water?" "O, I threw it out to the chickens" she replies. As I open the door to the deck, I glance to my right and see water splattered all over her bedroom. Apparently mother had been the owner of chickens in her pass life and an urge to feed them played out this morning.

It's a long awaited weekend away for my husband and I and mother will be staying with my sister Sue. We are taking her to their house which is an hour away. Mother seems perfectly content. After a quick nap, I notice that she seems unusually confused. "Where are we going Bobby?" she asks. We tell her over and over but nothing seems to answer her question. We arrive and enter the house, mother sits like a little child whom her parents have taken her to camp for a week and will soon be leaving. "Where are the people that live here at?" she inquires. "Will they care if I eat their food?" We answer her questions and try to assure her that she is at her daughter's house. Pointing out pictures of her grandchildren who we reminded her, grew up in this house. While we are away, my sister and husband tell of many inquiries from mother about Daddy and Normer, mother's stepmother, who had brought her there, in reality; my husband and I. Upon our return, mother seems fine. Heading back home, she asked if Daddy had us to come pick her up.

The role of mother and daughter has become reversed and it is not an easy task. This in itself is a mind bender. Giving your mother a set bedtime at night and enforcing it with her sassing you, arguments over time to take a bath, "eat your food," "put your shoes own before going outside," "remember to brush your teeth," "Wash your hands." I could go on and on.

In my darkest times I have asked the Lord, "Why have you handed me this cup?" "Mother and I had such a beautiful mother daughter relationship through the years, why didn't You just let her grow old and die and then I would be able to cherish the memories that we had made with fondest thoughts." Every time, my answer is the same; it is in HIS will. "Thank you God, for allowing me to have my mother, even as a child."

1 comment:

  1. You are such a loving person Jean!
    Cousin Janie