This afternoon we are heading back to Birmingham to visit my mom and see my brother. Visits "home" haven't been as much fun for quite some time. I've written about my mom before. We stopped in Birmingham last week and I was able to see Mom for about five minutes.
Mom has vascular dementia (looks like Alzheimer's Disease) and has been in a nursing center for four years. She was in an assisted living facility for almost a year before that. (The photo to the left was taken about 4 1/2 years ago.)
Because of our distance (I live in west Texas and my mom and brother live in Birmingham) Mom's decline is always very noticeable, as it was this time.
Mom was put on hospice a couple of months ago. My brother was reluctant to do so, but I encouraged him to check into it to see how it could benefit he and mom. He saw the benefits.
My brother, Bobby, and I discussed Mom's journey through this dreadful disease last week. Certain dates have escaped my memory. He reminded me that she hasn't known us since May 10, 2000. That's right. She knew us on May 9th. Eight and a half years.
This afternoon when I visit with Mom, I'll do all the talking as Mom can no longer speak. Mom cannot do anything for herself. Someone has to feed her pureed food. In fact, they have to wake her up for each bite Being in the retirement living industry we call patients like Mom, a feeder. Mom is a feeder. Crass sounding when it's your mom.
I may try to feed her, but my biggest goal this afternoon is to take her somewhere where we can be alone. That's a challenge in itself in a nursing center. I want to rub lotion on her hands and arms. I want to remind her of the many ways she has been a great mom. I want to remind her of the rich legacy she is leaving. I want to play the music box I'll have with me that plays "Que Sera, Sera". This is a song she sang to my brother and me when we were children. I want to thank her for being my mom. I want to tell her that our loved ones are in heaven waiting on her - - my daddy, her mom, her dad, her sister, her brother and many more. And, finally, I want to tell her that it is o.k. for her to leave us. It's just like Mom to stay here with us thinking she can do one more thing for us. I want to encourage her to go on ahead and get things ready for us.
Mom never wanted to live this way. I've asked God so many times why this happened. I don't think I'd understand his answer. It's o.k. I don't have to understand.
I'd appreciate your prayers as I have this one sided conversation with my mom. I believe she will hear me. As always, I'm