Thursday, February 9, 2012

Watching the slow decay....

This entry I originally wrote in 2009, after visiting my mom and dad. My mom was showing her first serious signs of Alzheimers (well, the first I noticed, being so far away that I am). This was just the beginning......

January 1, 2009

Mom and I sit, as usual, in the living room. The television is on in the background. She’s sitting in “her” chair, located in front of her now seldom used computer. It’s an older model, one of dad’s “hand-me-downs”. 
I’m sitting next to her in dad’s big, comfy chair while he’s in the back room playing on his computer.
I arrived on New Years Day. Upon my arrival, mom knew who I was. Yet I have already noticed a few of her “slips” that my brother and his wife had warned me about.

Then she asks where I live. “Germany”, I answer. 
“Where are you going from here?” she asks.
I reply as neutral yet as truthful as possible, “Back home to Germany.”
“oh, Dorrie lived in Germany, but she moved. I have no idea where she is now.”  There is no point in trying to correct her.
An empty tissue box lies on the table in front of her. In it are a few papers, a framed picture of my niece, Cassie, and her boyfriend, Anthony, plus some pencils, pens, and small scissors. Mom points to the picture. 
“I don’t know the names. They left here and forgot to take the picture with them.”
“I think that’s Cassie and her boyfriend (who I haven’t met yet so I’m assuming.”
“They forgot to take it with them.” Mom insists.
“Mom, it was a present for you to keep.”
“Write the names down, I have to return it, they forgot it.” She hands me an empty envelope, I write down “Cassandra” and give it to her. She takes the picture together with the envelope and marches to the back room where dad is sitting.”
“I have to tell “that guy” (meaning dad).” Dad repeats what I had told her, but she won’t listen and gets mad because no one listens to her. 
“They gave it to you as a present, to hang up somewhere,” I repeat. “Let’s find a place where we can hang it.” 
“No! It’s not going here!” she then insists, since she doesn’t accept this place as her home. She then places it face down on her dresser, so it won’t get forgotten when she “goes home”.
She returns to her chair and her tissue box. She begins to sort the papers in the box. I also notice her placing the pencils and scissors into envelopes. I suggest she put them in the cup that sits next to the computer, together with other pens,.
“But then they’ll be forgotten when I go home,” she whines. I humor her by telling her that the cup can be taken home with her as well. She thinks about that for a moment and accepts, then continues sorting the stuff in the box.
Later I’m sitting, writing in a notepad. The lighting isn’t great and she asks, “How can you see there, Dorrie?”

She again recognized me.

my mom, 2009...


  1. This was heartbreaking to read. One can only imagine the personal heartbreak it's become to have this tragic reality as a part of your life, Dorrie.

    Of all the diseases, this has to be one of the cruelest, because it slowly robs love, even the memory of love from its sufferers.

    My prayers go out to your mom, & to you, & your entire family just to find the strength to deal with & to survive so much sadness & loss.

    One Love.

  2. That is got to be tough to handle. *sending you hugs across the pond*

  3. My heart gopes out to you Dorrie. I will be keeping you in my prayers "HUGS"

  4. thank you all for commenting!

    It is now 2012 (duh), she's living in a care home since 2010, and still hanging on.....

  5. Wow. I went through this with one of my grandfathers. I hope I never have to go through it again with any of my family members. I can only empathize with you, it's really heart-breaking to see a person you love go through that.

  6. I know the feeling my father has Alzheimers and my mom had a series of strokes that messed up her memory. We just go with the flow.
    Blessings on your birthday and all your happy remembrances.

  7. Hugs to you, my dear friend.

    I had so much to say and kept deleting it here;I'm not sure why.
    I suppose there's no words for how strongly I feel for "mother's."

    I like what Pastor Larry says with going with the flow~

    Love your way~