Monday, October 11, 2010
Moments in Time
We chatted about pleasantries; we told her that she had just had a birthday and that she was now 98 years old. Her eyebrows lifted in surprise and she exclaimed, "I am turning into an old lady", She laughed along with us. We complimented her on her crimson coloured finger nails (yup - blazing red) and she explained that a very nice lady had put them on for her. We told her that it was Thanksgiving and that we were about to sit down to a scrumptious turkey dinner. She simply smiled.
She said she wasn't hungry but proceeded to methodically clear her loaded plate of turkey and fixings. She didn't stop until it was scraped clean. She smiled across the table; she was clearly enjoying the moment. And that is what her life has come to - this is where Alzheimer's has taken her. She lives in the moment with little to no recollection of what has been and who is who. She knows she feels loved and she knows that she loves the sweet lady that is her daughter, who is now nameless.
We are generous with our hugs, snuggles and I love yous. She giggles and smiles and then momentarily breaks away to say "God bless you". After an hour and a half she starts to squirm in her seat anxiously. She stares out the window and comments that it will be dark soon and it is time to go back. MIH comforts her and rallies the family to help get Nana and her walker out to the Jeep. Kisses and hugs all around. As Nana stands she says, "I'll come again, OK?" I could feel the lump in my throat forming.
It is difficult beyond words to watch Nana suffer the ravages of Alzheimer's and even harder to see the pain that her daughter, my MIH, endures as she watches her mother slowly slip away into an unreachable abyss.
Who knows what the future holds? I just know that no matter what, MIH has the right idea. We don't worry if she needs yet another sweater or if she'll remember the hour drive to the house for dinner, or if she will even remember the good feelings she shared while she was in the cocoon of her loving family. The focus is on giving her moments of love and respite from her loneliness ... special moments in time. And no one does it better than my MIH.