Mondays With Mother: An Alzheimer's Story

In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a hard road, and we live it one day at a time. This is a chronicle of her disease and my Monday visits with her.

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Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Too long

It has been way too long since I last visited my mother. I did visit once since my last post, but I find it harder and harder to re-live the visits in my posting. I read to her from the Bible on my last visit. No sign of recognition. I did the 23rd Psalm, which she recited from memory at her father's funeral in 2004. Nothing.

It's a broken record. If anybody even knows what broken records are anymore. I want to be with her. But I don't want to go see her. I don't want to leave, but it is more unbearable to stay. And so next week I am going to Florida and it will be even longer before I see her again. Probably not until the second week in September. Guilt, guilt.

The logistics are daunting...five hours of driving, timed to arrive in the few hours when she is not asleep or eating. She eats ever more slowly--not quite sure what to do with a fork anymore. Although I had a call today from my Aunt who said she had been to see her and they had gone out for ice cream. So that seems like a considerable improvement. It didn't seem to me like her mobility would allow for that anymore. I don't know.

I do know that it feels like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of situation. And I find that I hope God will not require her to exist in such a way to anything like her parents' ages. That's probably as much selfishness on my part as it is concern for her. Life's emotions are always complex. Perhaps she inhabits some happy little world to which the rest of us are oblivious, much as I often inhabit virtual worlds. If so, it doesn't show on her face.