Daddy, Mama, and I were supposed to leave on a trip to Pennsylvania with Daddy’s church group today. We were to return on Wednesday. However, when Mama made such a big turn a couple of weeks ago, we decided it was best not to take her on that long bus ride up there and back. Thankfully, Mitch and I convinced Daddy to go ahead and go and leave Mama with me. He really needed this trip and sadly, we know Mama won’t go on another one. And just as sad, we don’t know how many more Daddy will be able to take either, not unless we force him to go without her which just tears him apart.
Mama’s sundown set in about 2:30 today, earlier than I’ve ever seen it, and every few seconds, it was…..
“Where is your Daddy?”
“Where is my Daddy?”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me”
“I’m going to go take a nap” to which she wanders into her little den and returns saying “I’m going to go take a nap” and goes again.
In one of her rounds, she said she didn’t think her daughter wanted her anymore. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t know. I asked her if she knew where her daughter was and she said no while looking into my eyes. You learn not to take things personal. Later, I asked her if she knew me and she said, “You’re Tracey, my granddaughter.”
In the midst of the nap routine, her brain started adding that we had to go get supper to which I would reply “Okay, in a little bit.” I was doing the best I could to put her off until at least 4:00. At one point, she walked out the door with her pocketbook (that darn pocketbook:) and I watched her round the corner to the garage. She came right back panicked and saying “I can’t find my gun!” I thankfully knew she meant pocketbook and I knew what she’d done… we found it in the car. At this point, I caved and off we went to Mebane.
I often record my conversations with Mama now, mostly because they’re so hard to believe, and also so I can keep her voice. I turned on the recorder as we got in the car and before we left the garage, she asked me three times where we were going. And then, 19 times in the first 7 minutes, this was our recording:
Mama: Where are we going?
Me: Where do you want to go?
Mama: I don’t care, you make the decision.
Me. We’re going to Wendy’s.
Mama: That’s up to you.
19 times in 7 minutes…..
I had to laugh because after saying Wendy’s 19 times, and getting within eyesight, she said she wasn’t hungry…. crickets. I decided at the last second to go to Zaxby’s and as we passed Wendy’s, she said, “Aren’t we going to Wendy’s?” I went to Zaxby’s anyway and as we drive away with our food and pass Wendy’s again, she asked “Aren’t we going to get something to eat?” with no recollection we just had. I should have just gone to Wendy’s.
Finally the supper talk subsided and the crying and fret has started. Our routine so far tonight is (and I just realized it’s only 7 p.m… I am typing this as she comes back and forth in the room literally:
“Where is Daddy?”
“Where is my Daddy?”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me”
“There are people talking in my head”
“I don’t know what’s waking me up”
“Do you want me to come in here with these people?”
“Those people keep coming up the driveway but they’re not out there”
“I feel bad I’m not out there helping”
“They just left my daughter for my son outside”
“I don’t know who I’m talking to”
“I don’t feel like I know the way to let them in”
“Those people keep telling me I’m talking”
and so on…actually getting a little scary at times. So sad to see her trapped in her mind and when I try to recall Mama the way she really was, it’s becoming harder and harder to remember. I can only imagine my children seeing me do this and I hope they never do.
Got to go now. We’ve been trying to break her of sweets and I just found a box of my Crystal Light packs she’s opened and tried to eat… so sad but life as we know it at this point.
6 thoughts on “Life as we know it…”
Praying for you…that God gives you the strength you need to get through this. It is so hard to watch someone you love dearly go through this. You have to laugh because otherwise all you would do is cry. It gets so hard sometimes to put up with there constant questions because they are adults and not a small child (in body only). The tears do come at times and it get harder to stay strong…but that is where your faith in God and the support of others can help you get through it.
Tracy , God is so evident in your life. The faith you have , the love you show and your kindness all reflect our heavenly father. I love you ❤
Tracey, this just breaks my heart. So glad Bobby went on the trip and hope he will enjoy himself as much as possible. Praying God gives you the strength you need now and in the future. I love you and your family. Keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.
Tracey, know that you are an amazing person who is such a blessing to your mother. I can not imagine how you do it but you do with such grace and humor. Keep sharing and writing . Photograph things as you can….you may have a book in the making. You are a voice that needs to be shared. Know that Tom and I love you and send really big hugs your way!
Having your mother’s voice will be a blessing Tracy. My mom died when I was just 9 so I can’t remember how she sounded. I remember how she looked, and the things we did, which were limited due to her health issues. But I’d love to know how she sounded. Your recordings and written word will be something your children – and theirs will value. Prayers continue daily for you and your family. Cyber hugs and love.
So glad you’re saving messages and I hope all the “Moments with Mom” In years to come you will want to reread them and thank God again you were able to help in anyway you could and not have to worry about a full time job elsewhere. Sending prayers and loving thoughts. IB