Saturday, August 27, 2016
One of my earliest memories is of me sitting on the kitchen floor playing with my toys. It is a large country kitchen and at the other end is a young woman sweeping the floor. I look at her and think to myself that it's mom, and as long as she is around I'm safe, that of all the people I know in my small world, she is the kindest to me. She looks over and says how about we move my toys so that she can finish sweeping the kitchen, it was a daily routine that she did after breakfast. The memory ends there, I'm not sure why that moment stuck in my little mind, I guess it was when I started to figure out who people were and how they related to me. Even years later I still felt that as long as mom was around, I would be safe in some way. ............................................ When I was still very young, I happened to watch an old black and white movie called "Body Snatchers", I was disturbed by one of the story lines, an alien took over the body of a boy's mother. She looked like his mother, sounded like his mother but it wasn't his mother and he just knew. It frightened me that a person I was so bonded to, could someday become someone else, but it was just a story, that couldn't happen or so I thought. Fast forward to today and I discovered it can happen, only it's called Alzheimer's disease and not some catchy Hollywood title. ........................................... This week that long gone young mother sweeping the floor could no longer keep her son safe, she could no longer keep herself safe and it was the boy's turn to keep his mom safe. One of the hardest things I had to do in my life was to place mom into the care of a seniors home. She didn't understand why she had to move there and became quite frightened. I know it was the right decision, everyone agreed it was the right decision, but some part of me feels that I have betrayed her. ............................................ It did not go well but luckily for me there was a nurse who has handled this situation many times and knew all the right things to say. Turning my back and walking out the door was numbing, I held it together until I got back home, when I entered the house I said out loud "goodbye mom" and then completely lost it. I was encouraged to stay away for a week to let mom become familiar with her new surroundings but I would call in the evening to ask the nurses how things were going. They told me one night that she was worried I would be stressed over this and hoped I was alright, even though many days she is confused about most things, somewhere locked deep inside, that mother is still trying to look out for her son.