Saturday, May 31, 2008

"And yet it's the hardest challenge..."

We got the Annual Appeal from the Central Ohio chapter of the Alzheimer's Association in the mail recently, which is essentially a newsletter/fundraiser attempt.  It talks about some of the features and services of the Alzheimer's Association, and has three profiles in mama is one of them.  It has her picture and quotes her as follows:
"It's frustrating for me to get up in the mornings.  There are so many things I want to do.   And then I realize I can't do them all and I want to cry.  I don't want to be a burden or upset my family.  It's a challenge every day as I never know what each day will bring.  It helps to have a routine, a routine is important - and yet it's the hardest challenge.

I live in a small town and don't have many other people to talk to about my condition. Fortunately, I am able to take advantage of the online resources provided by Alzheimer's Association.  I am also able to contact the chapter's clinical staff through the Helpline if I have a question, need information or just someone to listen.  The programs and services provided by the Alzheimer's Association are important to me and have become part of my routine to help me survive with this disease."

We got a big envelope with several copies.  Neither Mom nor Brian knew she was going to be featured.  Apparently several months back, a woman from the Association came and talked to Mom to hear her story, so Brian figures this must be as a result of that conversation.  We were talking about it after they showed me the newsletter, and I threw out, "And Mom, you're not a burden to us."  She half-smiled and said, "Just you wait."  I guess she's fully aware of what's ahead.  I wonder if she thinks about it a lot.  When she's sitting there staring into space, is she imagining what it will be like when she doesn't know who we are anymore?  Is she plagued by fears of the future and of the unknown?  If so, she doesn't talk about it to anyone that I know of. Maybe she talks to people on the Helpline, according to her profile...but I never knew it.  It must be so lonely and so wearying to live with unvoiced fear like that.  I want to reach out to her and let her know we can talk about it and that she can let it all out, but I'm afraid too.  And in my cowardice I am selfish, because I am refusing to try to help her for fear that I can't and so the silence continues.  I hope I get over myself before it's too late.

Today is Brian's birthday.  Special days are always tainted.  They always leave me thinking how unfair and screwed up life is.  Mom and Brian had big dreams about the life they would spend together, and with each passing year those dreams stand in starker and starker contrast to the truth of their lives.  But oh, how he loves her.  I only pray I am so blessed as to one day be loved by a man with the steadiness, selflessness, and strength with which Brian loves my mom.  There really are no with that I leave you, to welcome your comments and thank you for stopping by!

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