Twice Goodbye

A few weeks ago my mother passed away.  Dealing with the loss has been hard.  Talking to other people who have lost their mothers helps, since I know they know what I am going through.  However, my situation is different from many others in that my mother had actually been gone for about ten years.  I lost my mother, as I knew her, to Alzheimer’s.

Over the years I have shed so, so many tears.  I’ve grieved for all the losses – my actual “Mom” that I miss so dearly, the grandchildren she never really knew, the grandchildren she did know who have experienced her agonizing decline, the plans she and my father had for his retirement years.

Because I had already gone through this heartbreaking process, I felt that when her time came to leave this life, it wouldn’t be as painful as it might have been without the Alheimer’s.  I was wrong.  It was still a punch in the gut.  A very final end.  Gone is the tiny hope that a cure might be found during her lifetime or that at some point, Hollywood-style, she would suddenly have a lucid moment where she could talk.

It’s been a double whammy.

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Lean on Me

Lately I have had an awful tickle in my throat and barking cough. Last night they were keeping me awake and I got up to take some medicine. Whilst waiting for the medicine to kick in, I wandered around the dark house.

The sight of the darkened house, with light from the moon and street lamps streaming in the windows, took me back to my early childhood. When I was a toddler/preschooler and I couldn’t sleep, my Dad would pick me up and carry me, with my head on his shoulder, around the house until I fell asleep. I realized that my memories of these “Walkabouts” were also my earliest memories of feeling safe and secure.

I also realized that, as I once leaned against my father’s shoulder, I now need to support him with mine. As my mother’s full-time caregiver he is carrying a massive burden. I must do what I can to help him and be there for him. I must do the right thing, even when it is not the easy thing.

Lord, I can’t thank you enough for the amazing, Godly man I am honored to call father. Help me to be the daughter he and my mother need me to be during this time of crisis. I feel so powerless against this horrible disease and I look to You for strength and guidance. Amen.