As I write more blogs, posts to Facebook and tweets on Twitter, I often find myself being bothered by whether my ego is being flaunted too much. I usually try to produce words from thoughts that are intended to help others think about issues. One issue I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently is my mother and her battle with Alzheimer’s. It’s that time of year (December) when thoughts of cheer should be plentiful; however, it’s also that time of year when triggers are activated, causing many to think of joyful times gone by that will not happen again.
My dear mom has experienced the intrusion of a personality-robbing disease on her being for the last fifteen years or so. My siblings (Terri, Larry, William) and I, along with family and close friends, have witnessed the gradual retreat of my mom to some dark place that only she and God knows exactly where she resides. I know it probably sounds a bit selfish, but this has been hard on me. I’m having to stop key stroking at this very moment, because it’s emotionally difficult to think and write my thoughts about “my/our mom.” I’m the oldest of four children my mother carried in her womb; and suffered the pangs of birthing to introduce us to decades of life that have resulted in ages of 67, 62, 59 and 55. Though we’re all dealing with our own chronic health maladies now, we look to mom as the one who has been impacted the most negatively from her condition. Sure, we (collectively) have cancer, diabetes, loss of hearing, and many other ailments; however, we all are yet blessed to have a good portion of our emotional and mental faculties intact.
Here I go again, risking the impression of sounding selfish. My wife, my middle child and I visited mom yesterday. I live two hours away. My sister has been the main care giver for all the years mom has been moving to a place that we can only visit during some brief moments. She texted me a few days ago that the nursing facility was having a Christmas party for all residents and family. The occasion offered a great amount of festive delight, with family and friends showering their loved ones with gifts and attention. Some, like my mom, showed no signs of being aware of all that was going on. There were many volunteer organizations bringing gifts, too. Even a somewhat under-weight Santa was there making his rounds, as he tried to bring holiday cheer to all.
Oh, by the way, I’m the one sibling in the group who has cancer. I’ve written about it on several occasions, on Facebook, Twitter, as well as on this social media outlet. When I compared my mom’s condition to mine, I came up with the title for this piece. Although I’ve been saddled with Multiple Myeloma for almost eighteen years, I’m yet thriving. I’ve been blessed with access to cutting-edge medical care that has kept my cancer at bay. My mom, on the other hand, has been slowly pushed into the recesses of her own being, not able to emerge with the bright self she was known by all to be for many years. Do you understand what I mean when I say her condition seems to be a fate worse than cancer? I do, however, feel blessed that she’s still with us. I just wish she was still with us.
I love you mom, and I miss you so much.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.