Lately, I only see her this way in the day. As the afternoon moves into evening, my mom starts to get nervous and unsettled. She starts worrying and wants to go home. Often, she is home, but she wants to go to her other home. She tells me the other home looks just like this home, but it is not the same one. I cannot persuade her that she is home. I show her where she has her belongings , but she is not convinced. Sometimes, I've had to go out, walk around and bring her back. Now I just try to get her out until the late afternoon so that I can bring her back. I feel so badly for her, but it's also hard to be patient. For her all of this is new, but for me, we've been through this countless times. It can get taxing so I try to just keep going and appreciating the present.
I read an article by Marita Golden in Bitch Magazine about Alzheimer's in the black community. The article is called Dying Indifference: Confronting the Shame of Alzheimer's in Black Communities. It's a moving article and I was struck by Marita Golden's description of the relationship between Jonathan and his mother, Janice, who has Alzheimer's. Ms. Golden wrote:
For Jonathan, every day with Janice was measured in present moments, and he had chosen to live in the redemptive space of the committed caregiver who witnesses and is strengthened by the grace of the task at hand. Every day, Jonathan found a way to access the honor bestowed upon the caregiver, and to live and move beyond the obstacles.
I am trying very hard to live by this. It's hard to watch my mom's mental and emotional changes, but knowing that I don't know how long I have her makes me enjoy all her good moments more.