I’ve been my mom’s caregiver for a long, long time. Even before she moved in with us every decision I made had to take her well-being into account. It’s always been momma & I since the day I was born. Being the only other girl in a house full of boys meant that we always stuck together.
Momma was more than just momma, she was my best friend, my biggest fan & cheerleader, and my conscious. We did everything together…until we couldn’t. In May of this past year, I had a heart attack and was told the stress of being a 24/7 caregiver was slowly killing me.
That’s when we made the heart-breaking decision to put her into a memory care unit. Of course, it’s never that easy. The first one was awful and after she was attacked by other residents we moved her out immediately and into another. Luckily, this one stuck and I will forever be grateful for the way they took care of her. Especially at the end.
In June she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and we learned that Alzheimer’s wouldn’t be the worst diagnosis we would receive. We grieved like we had when we got the dementia diagnosis. We watched her go downhill a little more each day and by the end, we were begging for her to be released from her pain.
On January 15th, she passed away and it’s a day that will be etched into my memory for the rest of my days. I miss her so much, but she is no longer in pain and I know that after 34 years her and my father finally back together again. We said our final goodbyes on Sunday, Jan 20th. I received so much support from friends, family, and perfect strangers alike and you don’t know what that meant to me.
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver will continue on just as it has because even though I’m no longer an Alzheimer’s Caregiver I know that there are millions of others just like I was. Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel.