Tuesday, December 31, 2019
My new reality.
I was sitting in my living room last night with all the lights off. Just relaxing in my big comfy chair, staring out the window at the Christmas tree. The wind was making the lights dance. I was in power down mode getting ready for bed.
It suddenly occurred to me that this was the first Christmas without mom. I did see her that night but it's not the same. The odd thing is I didn't even notice it. I think unlike with dad who was suddenly not there anymore, mom has been slowly slipping away from us, leaving no option but to learn to cope. To be honest, even though she was with us in the past, for probably the last three Christmases... she was not part of the conversation. She would speak if spoken to but she would be in her own world otherwise. I can still remember the first Christmas without Dad, as clear as if it was a year ago (Christmas number 11 now, unbelievable to me). At dinner we were sitting there in silence, shell shocked, almost waiting for him to join us, it seemed completely wrong to be having Christmas dinner without him. Compare that to me enjoying my day last Wednesday. Yes mom did cross my mind throughout the day but I wasn't down about it.
My sister and her partner had a long time friend join them for Christmas. I felt we could relax and enjoy ourselves, with mom around, it can be like having a small child that you need to keep an eye on. Even when I went to visit mom, it was more for me than her. Normally when I would say it's Christmas, she would act surprised over and over but at least she grasped the meaning. This time around, saying it's Christmas meant about as much as saying it's Wednesday to her.
I guess I have gotten used to the idea of living without mom, this is my new reality and I think that's healthy. When asked if my parents are still around, I now say no... because I no longer have parents, they are gone, mom's body is still alive but she is gone and I just realized I have finally accepted that.
Posted by Sooo-this-is-me at 6:02 AM
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Your new reality, moving on... this is what we do, and on a whole most of us do it rather well. It's why we have survived as a species. Here's hoping your New Year is less stressful than your last.
the fact that you are at peace with yourself is a gift. HAPPY 2020, STEVEN!
It's become your new "Normal". That's what happens when something major disrupts our lives.
I wish you a wonderful 2020,Steven, filled with health and happiness.
Steven, I understand your feelings. My mother also suffered from dementia and Parkinson’s disease. It’s a devastating disease. Like you said, the lights are on, but nobody’s home.
I wish you peace and happiness for the new year.
It's hard, sometimes to face reality, but sometimes it's for the best.
Hugs and a smooch on top of your head!
I can't imagine how difficult it must be to watch your mom decline. You are a good man. I hope 2020 brings many new adventures for you.
My mother had a long decline too. It's hard to watch the person you know slip away. But she's still your Mom and still in your life, even in a much diminished role.
I think it is important for your mom that you visit and celebrate Christmas with her, even though she does not remember any of it. If nothing else by socializing with her you are keeping an eye on her living conditions.
Sometime i think it's better this way then losing someone all of a sudden...it lets you cope even they slowly are slowly slipping away. When my grandmother...and my closetest bond went all a sudden it tool some time to get over. Sounds like you got this kid.
I truly wish you a Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2020. I love our banter.
Hugs and forehead kisses, Stevie (Jimmy called dibs on the top of your head).
It’s difficult to get used to the decline of a loved one, but I think you’re processing it at a good pace.
It’s great that you’ve made sure your mom is well taken care of and that you are always aware of her needs, but it does take a toll. And you’re going to miss her.
Meanwhile, I hope you have a fantastic 2020 and that the new year is full of new and fantastic things.
It is reassuring that you have found that new reality, it is perhaps the most difficult stage for anyone faced with a loved one suffering this dreadful illness. It does not mean you love or care of her any less - in fact in my mind perhaps more.
My wish for you and those you love and care for is all that you wish yourself.
Your writing is always very touching. My sister just lost her father-in-law to alzheimer's about a month ago. When I talked to my brother-in-law about it, he told me that he had already grieved the passing of his father as he wasn't the same person anymore.
Take care of yourself,
Dave, yes I agree, we move on, we have to. We can clearly see what is in store for mom. No point dwelling over it.
Anne Marie, thank you, yes at peace with what is happening or accepting it.
Christina, yes definitely my new normal.
HuntleyBiGuy, yes she's there but not there.
Bob, sometimes reality faces us no matter how we try to avoid it.
Jimmy, thanks I like head smoothes and hugs.
Richard,it's like seeing them in danger but not being able to do anything about it.
Debra, yes but to be honest she is starting to feel like some one else that only resembles my mom.
Lurker, yes there are many eyes watching out for her, best thing about where she is now is that they also care and that makes a huge difference.
Seriously Maddie the other way is better, if mom suddenly died we would be sad but at least we would have great memories. We have 17 years of worry burned into us now.
Deedles yes dibs but nobody beats your grandma hugs!!!
Sixpence, I will miss her but I will also know she is no longer suffering.
Will, dreadful illness is a perfect description. Yes it's an odd moment when you realize that your parent is better off without any interference.
Michael, yes that's exactly it, she isn't the same person anymore.
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