Strange Alzheimer’s Behaviors
Maybe A Few Answers Too
Momma went through hell when my brother died in Dec. We had several days to wait until the service and she would wake me up 2 or 3 times a night wanting to know if she had dreamed it or it was real. She would barely eat in the beginning and cried constantly. My brother was her first born son and favorite if the truth is to be told. The way that we were born it was like having 2 separate families. My first three brothers and then it was 6 more years before my youngest brother and I. My brother was married the very first time when I was only 8.
My remaining brothers and I decided that she should go to the funeral to be able to get that closure that we all dream about. We thought that maybe seeing it would make it real to her. It seemed logical at the time even though I knew it would be me going and I was dreading this worse than anything I can remember in a very long time. I do not like my brother’s new wife. I have a laundry list of reasons that I won’t hang out to dry here, but her last Harrah as they say turned that dislike into something much deeper and I’m trying my best to get over it. It’s not easy.
We drove the 9 hours to where the funeral was being held and stayed overnight in a hotel to be close to the funeral the next morning. When I got out of the shower I was horrified to see that momma had taken a black ink pen and scribbled all over her eyebrows. I acted like I forgot something in the shower, shut the door, and had my second good cry of the day. It was shaping up to be a dandy, but then I pulled up my big girl panties and pulled myself together. Momma was burying her son today and I was damn well going to stand solid beside her especially not knowing the amount of drama that would be foisted upon us.
I walked back out and told momma to let me take care of it and I pulled her into the bathroom facing away from the mirror and started lathering up. I convinced her I was giving her a facial as I scrubbed that ink out of her eyebrows. Then I applied her makeup and fixed her hair, which incidentally is just like Sally Field’s in Steel Magnolia’s, a big brown football helmet and it has been since she talked her brother into cutting off her pigtail when she was 12!
Momma wouldn’t get that closure that we all hoped for. We arrived at the service and except for members of her family and a few strangers we were the only ones there. My brother was not there and the person the preacher was talking about didn’t exist. The words out of his mouth had been written for him and that was almost as bad as not being told he was being cremated before we arrived. Almost, but not quite. We stayed 43 minutes and drove straight back home. Twenty hours on the road for 43 minutes of pain I wish I could go back, I would have made different decisions.
Like I said earlier, she then put the lipstick on her eyebrows for exactly 2 weeks after the service and then just as suddenly it stopped. I never mentioned it to her. We were at home and nobody would see it so why point it out. It would only embarrass her so we ignored it. We carried on with Christmas albeit a bit more subdued. With two babies in the house she was soon laughing again. I thought that maybe we were finally seeing a benefit to this thing called Alzheimer’s that invaded our lives and took momma’s memory hostage. Maybe she had already forgotten.
It wasn’t to last though, soon after the holidays were over she settled into a depression- like state for several months only coming out of it for the babies. It was hard to watch as she lost weight and sat in front of the TV day after day while I tried to coax, bribe, and cajole any amount of activity out of her.
These days she’s doing better. The warmer, longer days have helped. We also visited her new family doctor and he added some medication that seemed to help a lot. She also has a lot to look forward to. We just got back from a short vacation today. We spent a fun day and night in the Smoky Mountains before she left to go spend a few days with her neice. That made it possible for my husband and I to have 3 fabulous days in a cabin nestled up in the Smokies celebrating his 48th birthday! We had a day with his family and 2 glorious days alone!
Next week of course, is Easter and we have egg coloring and hiding as well as Easter baskets to make! The following week all of my brothers along with nieces and cousins are coming here. We’re having momma a giant 80th birthday party on April 3rd. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said to go somewhere she had never been before. Last year, my husband and I were supposed to be going on a cross-country trip. I was worried about leaving her that long so we canceled it. I was sad about it for a long time and one of the main reasons I gave up on Million Mile Blog because I felt that I could no longer travel.
So, we’ve decided to gift that trip momma and ourselves the trip and we are going to take it together! I cannot wait to show momma the U.S.A. and I don’t know why I didn’t consider it before. She loves to travel and can handle those long drives better than I do. I’m the one who was asleep in the back seat all day today while those two yacked all the way back! We’re not leaving for a few months, but we’re having a ball planning it. We’re ordered brochures for her to go over from every state that we’ll be driving through. There will be more than that later on!
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!