Thursday, November 1, 2012
Before dementia, my mom loved having all of the grandkids together to trick-or-treat on Halloween. There was almost no option to do it any other way; it was a big deal to see the kids in their costumes. Before we moved up the street from my parents, and lived about 20 minutes away, we would come to spend Halloween night trick-or-treating in my parent's neighborhood (along with my sister) so all of the cousins could be together and so that grandma could get pictures of her grandbabies. Mom also loved us to come along to their church ward's Halloween trunk-or-treat, usually held the night before Halloween. So we have always had at least 2 nights of festive fun and celebration altogether as a family.
We started a new tradition last year at our house on Halloween night. We decorate our garage and invite our friends and both sides of the family to come over, have some "spooky" food and take the kids trick-or-treating around the block. We have a great time. It can be chaotic with all the kids...just look at this group! But they are memories worth making and we have a great time together.
Like I said, we started this tradition last year. Last year was pre-diagnosis, but we knew mom wasn't quite right. We were frustrated and a little hurt when she refused to come over and celebrate Halloween with us. She was obsessed with staying home at her house and passing out candy to their trick-or-treaters. I think what she was mostly obsessed with was seeing her past Head Start student, who lives up the street and who she knew would trick-or-treat at her house. It did sting a little that she seemed to care more about seeing her past student than her grandkids. However, she did attend her ward's trunk-or-treat the night before and we went along with her to that. I suppose she figured she already saw the grandkids together and spent an evening with them.
This year, she did not participate in any Halloween festivities at all. I prepped her last month about Halloween...she didn't know what I was talking about. As Halloween got closer and we talked more and more about it, I think she figured out what the holiday was. But she would not come to the trunk-or-treat at the church and she would not come to my house. She did not pass out candy at her house either. As far as I know, she sat at home with her music on, playing her computer games until it was time to go to bed. She didn't see the grandkids in their costumes nor show any interest in them or the holiday at all; she was completely detached. Halloween was just another day in the world of Deana.
It is sad to see the decline and to see her uninvolved in the family traditions and activities that we once held dear. My guess is that by next year she won't even know what Halloween is. With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I realize that the days she remembers these holidays is numbered.
Posted by Cassandra at 12:23 PM