Alzheimer's -- Is This A Life Worth Living?

Mom & Me January 2016

Alzheimer's -- Is This A Life Worth Living?

As my month-long visit comes to an end, my trips each day to see my mom get harder and harder. I can feel my emotions surfacing, taking over as if I were riding a roller coaster.

I awake each morning feeling like I could cry. I feel the pain of leaving her. In some ways I think I am deserting her. How I wish I lived near mom so I could cuddle and care for her. I have this burning desire to protect her, as if she were my own child.

In many ways our roles have reversed, yet I yearn to hear her call my name. Even if it is for a brief moment I want her to know that I am her daughter.

Saying goodbye never gets easier. It's not just leaving a parent, but also not knowing how much more of her will be left when I return.

I wonder if mom could have a sixth sense for on one of the final days of my visit my husband and I found her in bed. We caught her having a dream as she was having a lengthy conversation with someone.

After she awoke she continued speaking to us with phrases that had a "philosophical" meaning. She shared her feelings on how we should appreciate our life and be kind to one another.

Could mom possibly know what I was feeling these last few days, or could this have been a miracle from above? Did she want to send me back to New York feeling complete? I felt like she was a Buddhist or an angel who had just spread her wings.

I realize that life is not fair. Some people die young and some live to an old ripe age. Some people in their 90s are still driving their cars while others have moved into nursing homes unable to care for themselves. None of us know what lies ahead and for this we need to be grateful for each day that we are alive.

Mom lives a life I hope never to endure for myself or any of my other loved ones. Her life was once so full and now she is locked away in her own universe. It is hard to explain yet sometimes it appears that she is trapped in the unknown world of the "Twilight Zone".

Who am I to really judge if this is a life worth living. I wish that I could wave a magic wand and bring her back into the real world. Alzheimer's disease is a true mystery that also fascinates me.

I only wish that mom could understand all the love I have for her. I am fortunate to have been given a second chance to love her in a way that I never realized existed. Mom has become my hero. Her strength and courage inspires me each and every day.

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