REMEMBERING THE PAST THROUGH ALZHEIMER’S
I am always amazed at the amount of damage that Alzheimer’s causes. How does it decide which memories go and which stay around for a little longer? My mom has a great memory of the past and as the Alzheimer’s progresses I’ve noticed that the stories she tells me are getting older and older. It’s like she is remembering her life backward. When it first started she would talk about when we (my siblings and I) were little kids. Stories about the things we did and the trouble we had gotten into.
The stories then went to when her and my father first met and the dates they went on. The story of their wedding. Now though, she talks about her teenage years and the trouble she had gotten into sneaking to see a basketball game at her school.
She has become much more animated lately and that has been a wonderful thing. She laughs more often and enjoys the babies being here when they come for a visit.
On my husband’s birthday, the family came over and momma, my daughter and I cooked a huge breakfast for the hubby and the rest of us. It was so nice to have them both in the kitchen with me, even though they give me hell about my lack of cooking skills and quilting, sewing, or crafting skills. It seems that all of my mom’s creativity has apparently skipped my generation and landed on my daughter’s head instead.
After they relegated me to biscuit watcher and I managed to burn those (mom said they were just full-flavored!) I was left to supervise. Apparently my granddaughter is being groomed to take over my position! It was one of the very best days. With a little direction, she managed to make her terrific gravy for the biscuits which is something she hadn’t done in a very long time. It meant so much to both my daughter and I to have this special day with mom. She was really like her old self for those few minutes.
After dinner/breakfast, the rest of the family were outside while she and I along with the babies were in the house. I picked up my grandson and after a few minutes my granddaughter woke up. Mom walked over and picked her up. She walked around and sat down at the table and you could see the years fall off of her like an old, well-worn coat.
She checked out her little toes. She tickled her feet and the baby just looked at mom and smiled doing her best to laugh for the very first time. I don’t know which one was happier, my mom, my granddaughter or me. I admit it brought tears to my eyes. It was such a precious gift for me to see my mother with her great-granddaughter and to see them bonding in this way. It brought back memories of when my own daughter was a baby.
Will my granddaughter remember it? No, but I know it’s a picture that I will never, ever forget…unless I get Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the littlest gifts are the very best things we could hope for. My biggest fear is the day when she runs out of memories. What happens then? I am learning that in life it’s these little memories that can see you through the days and weeks of darkness that are never far away.
Remember to Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy and deal with the rest. I love you momma!