Apologia for these journals:
They are not about taking care of a relative with moderate to severe Alzheimer's/senile dementia.
For an explanation of what these journals are about, click the link above.
For internet sources that are about caring for relatives with moderate to severe
Alzheimer's/senile dementia, click through the Honorable Alzheimer's Blogs in my
links section to the right.
I really missed Mom, yesterday...
...as I watched the inauguration and some of the festivities. It was impossible not to imagine her, captive to the good three quarters of it that I recorded, which I would have saved for watching after she arose. I didn't, of course, save it for later watching yesterday, except for a section of the Inaugural Luncheon and Parade that was broadcast while I ran a few errands. But, early as it was, I imagined Mom, bathed, padded, clothed and breadfasted, sitting in her rocker, paying close attention to everything primarily because I had an interest in watching it and would have explained the import of the occasion to her. We would have discussed facial expressions and the evidence of snippets of conversation being exchanged as the dignitaries were escorted to the podium. When Aretha Franklin appeared to sing, I would have exclaimed, as I did, yesterday, alone, "That's the perfect hat for her!" My mother would have agreed. She may have even simultaneously exclaimed the same. Although my mother wore few hats throughout her life, she loved the idea of hats. One of the reasons she loved movies made in the late thirties through the forties was because they contained a plethora of hats to dissect. We would have discussed, in detail, the clothes people wore, including men's choices of ties (to which my mother was particularly attuned), the peculiar color of Michelle Obama's outfit, the interesting informality of the sweater she wore over her dress at the Inaugural luncheon and noted, later, that Dr. Biden's striking red coat covered a smart gray dress. As I occasionally wept a few tears, Mom would have given me that "You and your father" look, maybe even teased me about being too emotional. She would have pronounced the inaugural poem "very nice", while I would have mentioned the interesting inclusion of "love" in the poem. During Obama's Inaugural speech she would have paid phlegmatic, in the moment attention, but would not have considered that he was saying anything that was much different than any new president. Her belief was that it isn't the president who's important, it's the people who elected the president. She would not have had a sense of the specific historical import of the moment, which is one of the things I loved about living with her. When, back in 2004 after her first blood transfusion, she answered one of those Casual MMSE questions about who the president is with, "What does it matter?" she wasn't attempting to dodge her lack of memory, she was stating her philosophy about politics which, frankly, hadn't changed much since the days when her memory could be said to be more typical of the general population. Even before her mind formally inducted her into The Country of Timelessness, she had a timeless sense of history. She may not even have noticed that there was anything different about Obama than anyone who's ever taken the Presidential Oath of Office, except that I'm sure she would have commented that he looks, "awfully young", as I recall her mentioning this during the campaign. When I was moved, in relief, to salute Bush as he and Laura's helicopter cleared the Capitol Mall, she may have, as well, saluted, although for different reasons. She was a military veteran and this was a "military" and a "veteran" moment. She would have patiently sat through all the "boring" stuff while I waited to hear Obama's remarks at the luncheon. When he finished, she and I would have looked at each other, she would have said, "Well, that was underwhelming," and I would have agreed.
Then, I would have said, "Thanks, Mom, for bearing with me through this." I always thanked her for deigning to watch or listen to stuff that I knew didn't catch her fancy.
She would have said, "Oh, no problem. It was interesting."
"What will it be now?" I would have asked. "An episode of Touched by an Angel or, maybe a movie? How about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in honor of the occasion?"
As it turns out, MFS and I discussed Obama's Inauguration yesterday evening in much the same way my mother and I would have, which was exactly what I needed.
Yes, I am working on my review of Dancing with Rose. As I was writing it, though, I discovered that I was remembering comments in the book that I hadn't highlighted, bringing into question whether they actually came from that book, so I decided to quickly read through the book, again, looking for my memories. I'm in the process of doing that, now; it's not going as quickly as I imagined. So, it'll be at least a few more days, as I have yet another project through which I'm now having to push myself, collating everything needed for Mom's taxes. Not the easiest project: As MFS commented, it's easier if one is born at the end of a year and dies at the beginning of a year.
I'm doing okay, I think. At present I'm experiencing more low points in my days than high points. Night before last, though, I reconnected with my local book club after at least four years, possibly more. It was as though I'd never left, which was exactly the surprise I needed at exactly the right time.
I could, easily, I note, especially in the morning when I awaken, drown myself in sorrow, if I wished...but, daily concerns and excellent friends seem to pop up just before the deluge covers my mouth and nose.
I'm not one to believe that my mother "would want me to go on". Not that I think she wouldn't, but, if any part of her continues to exist and is aware, I, frankly, think she misses me as much as I miss her. Even if she continues to be aware of my life, how frustrating it must be for her to know that I am not aware of her in the state in which she may or may not exist now, especially since I made it my business to be so aware of the various states of her life, while she was alive, that I often entered into them. However, she was also a pragmatic and accepting soul, so I'm sure she's dealing with my absence better than I am dealing with hers. Give me time, Mom. Consider my sometimes confounding grief a compliment to you and, as well, blame it on the "Dad" part of me!
All material, except that not written by me, copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson