Tuesday, January 29, 2019

18 Months


18 months.

In some ways it seems like an eternity, and in other ways it seems like just yesterday that I said my final good-bye to my mom.

Life has completely changed without my mom here. I would be lying if I said that things weren't all around easier without the chaos of coordinating caregiving schedules and hurrying over in the mornings to bathe Mom and worrying about her throughout the day, worrying about the future. But I still miss her. I miss being able to touch her, hug her, tell her things; even if she didn't understand what I was saying, there was still some sort of comfort in talking to her.

They say that time heals. I don't believe that's true. The hole is never filled; we simply learn how to maneuver around it. The hardest part about the passage of time is when people expect that you will heal; that you will some how "get over it". The world moves on and slowly forgets the person you've loved so dearly and lost, but you never do. You remember. I remember.

I remember laying across her lap while she scratched my back. I remember the way her face would light up when she talked about her grandkids. I remember the smell of her hair and the scent of her lotion. I remember the way she would play with her hair and tuck it behind her ear when she was nervous. I remember the freckle in her eye and her front tooth that was slightly crooked that she was always self-conscious about, but that we loved because it was a characteristic of her. I remember laying on her bed at night, chatting with her about whatever was on my mind (until my dad would come and kick me out of the room). I remember my mentor, my cheerleader, my mother, my friend. I remember all of her.

But I'm also afraid of forgetting. If I live to be an old lady, I will have lived more than half my life without her. How can that be when she is such a big part of my life? Will she slowly start to fade away?

There are no new memories being made. There are no new pictures to share. And I worry that I will forget. I worry that my children will forget. I am afraid of losing this part of who I am as the time passes and as everyone else around me moves on, and forgets.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Not one single day. There will always be a void.

And so, I cling to the memories I have of her. I continue to talk about her to my kids. I imagine that she is there, cheering them on, cheering me on. And I hope beyond hope that I will see her again one day. What a glorious reunion that will be.



4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your humaneness with us. I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s August 26. I know it sounds strange but I keep his obituary close. My mother wrote it and it captures the magic of my dad, a professor, a husband, and father. I sure do miss him.

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    He was diagnosed in 2011. I took Dad to the GP after noticing that he had become increasingly forgetful and vague. The clear sign that something was wrong came when he drove his car to the local shops (a five minute drive), bought his shopping, then walked back home, forgetting the car was parked outside the shop. The next day he rang me to say the car had been stolen. He had no recollection of leaving it behind. After a week he began to repeat himself and ask the same questions. He would struggle to remember conversations that had only occurred five minutes earlier.

    His situation was very complicated. I understand how one feel as a daughter and once caregiver, memory loss is so much more complicated. Many have been conditioned to think that traditional medicine has not found a cure for a disease. ZOMO have challenged this train of my thought. When he was ill, it was a tragedy, I endured, I was broken, I knew hardship, I was lost. But here I stand and I can tell you unequivocally that my Dad is cured. It is those of us who have been broken that understand the meaning of memory loss. As I look at the past and start writing this, tears of joy overwhelm me. I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. It was one of my most difficult jobs and one that I poured my heart and soul into daily. Taking into account how well my Dad progressed in that space of time and now. There is no more memory loss symptoms for more than 6months now. The thing is, I get peace of mind when Dad is well taken care of: when he’s happy, I’m happy. Right now, it’s all about him…I always enter into his world so we can manage life together. We wake up every morning with a smile and we look forward to what the new day will bring. Reach out to him at charantova@gmail.com

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