I am fortunate to have two mothers — my birth mother, Fay, and my adopted mom, Shirley (or my MOM mom, as I call her, since she raised me). They are both the same age, but one has Alzheimer’s. It’s been difficult and heartbreaking to deal with my mom Shirley’s dementia. Even more heartbreaking since I’m far away and cannot visit her in person, mainly due to finances.
Talking over the phone is challenging because I never know what she will say, what she will remember, what she won’t remember, or anything else. She still remembers who I am, thank goodness. But someday, she may not. I’ve cried countless tears after phone conversations with my mom. I want to put things back the way they used to be, when she remembered.
She doesn’t remember my first husband’s death and keeps asking where he is and why we aren’t married anymore; I simply told her it didn’t work out. I’m not going to tell her he died (and from what I’ve read, you’re advised not to do so). She doesn’t remember meeting Paul and wonders when she’ll get to meet him. The other day she thought Britt was still a little girl. She never remembers what I do for a living, or that I’ve been working from home for over 16 years. Conversations are hard and tug at the heartstrings.
I love my mom, but watching her go through this is agonizing. She just turned 79 years old a couple days ago. I never know when it will be the last time I get to speak to her…so I cherish every conversation we have, regardless of how trying and sad it may be. 😦