That last post was a bummer. Watch this.
You can’t imagine how horrible Alzheimer’s is. I’m watching my grandmother right now – she’s sneaking some cereal that she hides in the drawer thinking that I can’t see her.
She’s standing right in front of me.
When she looks up and sees me, she shoves the bowl back in the drawer and walks off like nothing happened. If you think cereal in the drawer is weird, how about this – drinking sickly sweet creamer straight from the bottle. We go through about 2 bottles a week. The doctor says yeah, it’s gross, but it doesn’t hurt her, so if she’s happy let her go on with it.
She’s pretty lucid when she’s at home, which is most of the time. However, if you take her out of the house for more than a day (ex. spending the night at my parent’s) she’s just all kinds of confused.
I went to my cousin’s funeral a few weeks ago. It snowed that weekend and my grandmother didn’t know where she was. She was sure she was at home, and even more convinced that someone had stolen her recycling bin. My poor mom had to practically wrestle her down to keep her from traipsing out in the snow to look for it. There are several large planters around my mother’s swimming pool. Memaw saw that and said THERE IT IS, not bothering to notice the swimming pool we’ve never had sitting behind it.
Alzheimer’s is unfair. Not just for the poor soul who loses their memory, identity and ability to take care of themselves, but for the family who has to watch it all go down. Having said that, the biggest blessing of my life has been living here these 5 years. Beyond the blessing of caring for Memaw, spending time with her and helping her with things like getting dressed, fixing her hair and making her coffee when she forgets how, I’ve found a church home that is priceless, a real relationship with the Lord and an appreciation for family that you just don’t have until you’ve walked through hell with them. I know who’s real and who’s not, who’ll stand by you and who won’t and, like a mom, I’ve learned that you’ll touch things you never thought you would touch in a million years. You do for family.
Memaw’s moving into a nursing home in the coming weeks. On one hand I’m ready, excited to live my own life on my own schedule. On the other hand I’m completely broken-hearted. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just the change. Maybe it’s because things have finally come to this. I know that after a week she’ll be completely at home (Lord, let it be). I know that the nursing home will be able to take care of her like I never could. I know that she’ll be safe and fed and that they’ll keep her occupied and amused as much as she can be.
But what do I do?
It seems like a simple answer – whatever I want. But to be honest, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m keeping busy with Bible studies these days. I know that God’s doing a work in me and that He’s refining me and that I never have to worry because He’s got it all worked out (thank You, Father), but there’s always those moments where you just don’t know what your purpose is anymore. I know now that my purpose is shifting. I’m not meant to be a caretaker anymore, but what AM I meant to be? I wish I knew.
I’m really not an unhappy person. I’m really quite sunny and optomistic. I have faith and trust in my great God. He’s seen me through many a trial, and this time will be no different. I’m just a bit lonely. Boyfriend is gone, Grandmother’s departure is imminent…I’m here all by myself. Oh it’s not like I don’t have friends, or the most precious family in the world to keep me company, I’m just not used to existing day to day by myself. It’s an adjustment that is exciting and terrifying all at once.
So this post doesn’t really have a beginning a middle or an end. I would so not pass English class with this one, but it’s just some stuff that’s on my mind.
Keep us in your prayers, if you would. We need ’em.