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An Early Christmas Present

Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, I did get an early present this year.

A couple years ago my mother was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  My siblings and I had noticed earlier that she was getting a little more forgetful, but we all just attributed that to getting older.  However, things were getting to the point where her behavior was getting a little too worrisome, so my Dad and I took her to the doctor.

It turns out that she had Alzheimer’s and that it had probably started in 2009. (That date will be important later).

Since then it has been a tough road which I usually don’t discuss publicly. What I’ve learned in this ordeal is that Alzheimer’s patients usually don’t know they have it which is why it is more difficult on the family than them. I also learned that my mother doesn’t like to sit still, nor does she like to be told what to do. (Imagine that!)

We are fortunate enough that there have been enough of us to look after her, but unfortunately things are at the point where a facility that can look after her 24/7 is going to be in order.   This is something I’ve been working on for a while and I can assure you it is no fun.

However, during our trip to Chicago this past weekend to mark my mother’s 72nd birthday, we found her  in great spirits and while she didn’t recognize everyone her cheerful demeanor and pleasant smile was the perfect gift. I’m also fortunate enough to have a wife that cares for my mother as much as I do. Which is why I think it’s ironic I was married the same year my mother’s condition began.

The future will not be easy, but the memories I have of the most kind, yet firm, woman I will ever know will be with me always. And each day I get to spend with the woman who told me that if I was going to run my mouth to go get paid for it, is a gift that will last forever.

 

  • RayS

    From someone who is also taking that journey (caring for a parent with alzheimers) may I offer sympathy to you and your family and praise for what is often a over looked and undet appreciated gift that you are giving to your mother.

  • malercous

    My deepest sympathies to you & your whole family Abdul, I know exactly what you & your family will be going through. Alzheimer’s is way harder on the caregivers than it is on the patient, if that’s any consolation. Sometimes in the later stage the person will have a few hours/day where they are fully cognizant & will remember their past like nothing was ever wrong with them. It doesn’t happen to every Alzheimer’s patient, but it does happen. Hopefully you’ll be there if/when it happens to your mother.