It was around five years ago when my mother got laid off from her job. I remember coming to visit her at work right before she was let go. She was in her office, she had two computers at her desk and one had news videos going and the other one she was "working" on. But it didnt really seem like she was getting alot of work done. She had told me about some co worker guy that was giving her a hard time and I purposely walked past his office about four times to stare him down and give him the evil eye. How could this man pick on my mother? She is always so nice and she has always given her all in everything she has ever done. The thing was though, I couldnt help but notice still...something was off. She wasnt able to concentrate....its just wasnt the same hard working quick witted mom I had always seen. Not long after my visit to her work they let her go. I still dont know the details as to why, but I knew it was because of her performance the past year. I was so angry with this employer and still am to this day. I know they didnt know the challenges that were about to come to my mother but it was so brutal how she was treated.
This odd behavior my mother had carried on into home. She was so forgetful...so out of it...she acted like a zombie alot, she was so socially akward, seemed so... depressed. I remember her being prescribed medication after medication and nothing ever changing. And at first, we were told maybe she was acting this way because of anxiety/depression. Then it was long term damages to her brain from that car accident she was in 6 years ago. And that was the excuse that seemed to stick with my mother for so long. She recalled that to me for a long time after the the real reason. Then. They said it was just so odd. 56 years old, cant be...oh, theres a possibilty she could have frontotemperal dementia. I looked this term up for weeks. Trying to study it. Finally, during the 10 months I was living in Beaumont, after one of the many brain scans, my sister calls me to tell me, it was Alzheimers disease.
I learned this week that people in the stage of Alz that she is in right now, that she only understands 3 out of 4 words when we talk to her. Could you imagine that? getting three fourths of everything said to you? And we wonder why people with Alzheimers get so frustrated...and we think we are frustrated. It kills me when she said to me "what's happening to me?" or "why did this happen to me?" now we are at the point where she tells me " I dont have alzheimers". Hmmmm....ok, you dont, mom. I really really really wish you didnt. If you didnt then you would have been there when I tried on my wedding dress for the first time....You would have been the one with 'something old' for me to wear when I was about to walk down the aisle. You would have been so excited when you found out I was pregnant and immediately ran out the door when I told you it was a girl, and bought her something pink. I could have called you in the middle of the night ask you what to do to get this baby to sleep. You would have been BEGGING me to babysit. You would have been one the first to know of my postpartum depression and wanting to talk to me. I always told you everything. And I sound so selfish right? I dont mean to.....I just need her. And feeling selfish is definitely one the motions I'm constantly going through. It's not fair...she's like a completely different person that's just in the room....that's just there. I know who she is/was but she doesnt for the most part...would it be easier if she wasnt there at all? And isnt that a horrible thing to even think about? That's part of the cruel joke.
Through the years I was every so often hoping for someone to take me under their wing like another mom...some to fill in for her since she is unavailable. It never works. Alot of times I even have ended up hating that person I was looking to for advice/support/mother figure because they are complete failures compared to my mom. No. one. will. ever. match. up. to. her. And its ok with me now. I know to never think anyone could ever be as good as her because they never will. I'm only afraid after so much of seeing this person that she is now, I will forget what she was like when she was my mommy. I always cry at that thought the most. I just wanna remember her for who she was. Strong, SO funny, hardworking, smart, talented and artistic, so much style, so easy to talk to to. She aced the job of balancing being a mother yet still somewhat a friend to me at the same time. I always knew my boundaries and so did she. I was so lucky to have her, and I still am.
I dont and will never expect or ask anyone to feel sorry for me. Thats not the point. I just want people to be thankful for what they have. Because you never know....you could never see anytthing wrong and one day you see this usual habit or skill totally change and think its nothing and then all of a sudden it's something. And its something you cant just fix. Yet another part of the cruel joke....