My mother’s diagnosis did more than take her memory away. It took my mother away and forced me to adjust to a different mother. It is not forgetting things or people that troubles, but the complete overhaul that devastates me.
While her world went back into a time I can’t relate to, mine stayed statically the same, yearning for the things that were. I am trying to rationalize and deal with the changes.
If I ever thought raising five children with her help was difficult, caring for her without her help is proving an impossibility. I don’t have her to keep me going, to show things by the hour not in terms of days, months or years. “If you look that far ahead, you will go crazy,” she reminded me one day, more than fifteen years ago, when I questioned my ability to deal with the children for ten more years. “You will go insane and no one wins, not even the children.” She had this incredible way of helping separate the child from the behavior. “Just because she failed that test, doesn’t mean she is a failure.” She always took the children’s side, or so I thought, but her comments always filled with wisdom, all I needed to do was take a second look. All that is lost now and I am left to do it alone for the first time. It’s harder than I could explain and I often find myself asking her a question only to encounter that blank expression that leaves me empty inside. I even went as far as assessing her hearing because I thought she couldn’t hear me. The doctor told me what I already knew. “Her hearing is fine, perhaps she can’t process what you are saying.” I went home and cried because I know it’s hard to do it without her all the while she is right beside me.