* My Journal * This is a glimpse of my mother's world. Mom is in the blue on the left. She is in her special wheelchair, all strapped in with her big leg braces. Most...well...OK...all of the time... when I come into this confined, locked up and closed off world, it feels simply pathetic. It breaks my heart. Mom has outlived most in this unit. I have seen many many Alzheimer's and dementia patients come and go. Some of them have "lasted" in here for quite a while. Some people...some...deteriorate quickly and don't "last" long at all. Honestly, I would say they are the lucky ones. Noises, curdling screams, and odd to piercing "sound effects" made by the residents can be as disturbing as seeing the agony over a roomful of too many worn, sick, and sometimes distorted, faces. Don't get me wrong. I don't see everything as bad. There can be many laughs here. The working caretakers in this field of "Insanity" HAVE to carry on a sense of humor...(for survival's sake...in my opinion). I myself laugh with them. We all need to "exercise" a sense of humor in many aspects of life. I think everyone would agree.
When I came to see Mom this particular day, she was looking quite stern and not so good as other times. I rubbed her shoulders and neck, held her hand, kissed her head. I tried to talk to her. She only stared at me....she has been doing that lately. She has not been talking her usual "gibberish". Even though she is slowly deteriorating, she seems to notice me more than before...just like on this day. As she stared at me with her stern, but expressionless face, she appeared to be looking right into my eyes....almost like she recognized me. (She can really surprise me sometimes.) As I was looking right back into her eyes...patiently....for several "moments", she slowly formed her mouth into an O shape. I brought my cheek to her lips. She touched my cheek. I pulled away and looked at her. She shaped her mouth into an O again. I brought my cheek to her....she was kissing me... we did this over and over...sometimes she actually did a light "smack" on my face. This happens and I don't realize there are still feelings inside her skeletal frame with a soul that's seemingly dissipated. Then I wonder if she is trying to tell me something? Is she trying to finally let go. Is she trying to tell me goodbye? Is that terrible to say?...I can't help it....it just sort of feels that way when I see her eyes stare at me as of late.
Leaving the nursing home, I couldn't stop thinking about my experience with my mother.
I don't know....maybe I think about things too much. Maybe I'm just completely "off base". On the way to my house, I did some crying....and more thinking. As distressing as it seems when I walk into the pitiful world my mother lives in....I realize I am lucky and so is she. She has me and I have her. I have missed her terribly as the mom I once had. Oh...do I EVER miss her. She was a wonderful mother and wonderful friend. ... But, in a way..... I do still have her....she gave me kisses...lots of them....another moment to cherish....and that's another good thing.