So many of you have messaged me or asked me when we were out and about how Mama is doing and it touches my heart each time. I’ve not shared a post in quite a while. Quite frankly, the daily changes we’re seeing are squeezing out the ability to find the laughter. We still try and often it’s laughter through tears but it is what it is. Mama’s changing before our eyes at this point, as fast as Daddy is wearing out. Each day her words are more mixed up than the day before. Her sundowning is getting progressively worse, it shifts hours, and is unpredictable. At 9:00 the other night, after having had her pajamas on and Daddy thinking she’d gone to bed, she came back in the room fully dressed with her pocketbook, that darn pocketbook (there’s a smile), wanting to know where they were going. Physically, she’s shuffling her feet a lot more and the doctors can’t believe she’s not falling yet. Based on each of her MRIs, she should be. How do they know that stuff? But now she gets choked a lot in the middle of the night so Daddy not only sleeps with one eye open but one ear to the next room. He’s had to get up with her choking many nights but what if he doesn’t hear her? This is just some of where we are.
We still ride her almost nightly. Last night, I helped her put on pajamas thinking how my Mama would have never have let anyone do this for her. I remembered how many years I watched her help my grandmother, her Mama, do it. And I find myself thinking daily about my children having to do these things for me and it can make me terribly sad. I know they’d do it with love as I do but it’s still so frustrating to know it’s out of my control if it happens. For those of you who have been through this, do you have those same fears? Why do we worry about things we can’t control? Are you paranoid about everything you do that might indicate your memory’s not what it should be? I did something the other day that scared me to death and I still can’t think about it without tears but it happens more and more often, paranoia or not.
Anyway, as we finished putting on Mama’s pajamas, she put her hands on my shoulders, looked me right in the eyes, and I saw Mama in there for that moment, it was the strangest feeling, and she said, “I’ll never forget you.” It took my breath for a moment. She gets her words so mixed up now causing us to do a lot of interpretation and I didn’t know if it was her way of thanking me for helping her or if she knew what she was really saying. Regardless, those words were heard. I know reality is she is forgetting me some each day, all of us, but for that moment, she knew me and knew in that instant she wasn’t planning to forget me not realizing it’s out of her control.
It’s harder and harder to find moments to share but not as hard as it is to watch this horrible disease take over someone you love. We talk often about how hard it is now to remember how Mama was before this. Sometimes I lay awake trying to remember and I simply can’t.
Now to get corny which you know I can do… we’re all going to be a memory to someone someday right? What kind of memory will you be? And we’ve all heard it before but I encourage you wholeheartedly to not put things off, to not only make memories and savor them, but capture little moments every day – I don’t care how old you are reading this. There are so many ways! The sad truth is almost all memories fade and sadly, people die suddenly every day, young and old, or are struck by tragedy or disease. Think now about someone you love who is not here anymore…can you remember the details? Some day someone will be trying to remember those things about you. Yes, they’ll remember you were their parent, spouse, best friend, and that you loved them or they loved you, but will they remember…
~what your laugh sounded like;
~those crazy ideas of yours (I’m leaving my friends several volumes of those, LOL, they each get one – you know who you are)
~your quirks and habits;
~your favorite things;
~the things that made you you or them them.
You don’t have to do a whole page journal every day but why not…
~a couple of sentences on a calendar like “Johnny called today, so proud of him” or “had lunch with GG today, she always cracks me up” or “Baby Joe slept a whole six hours last night, thank God!” or even “Sue got bad news today, we cried together” – think about someone reading those little quips one day, just a quick note about something or someone every day. Moments you don’t want to forget and moments you want someone else to know you thought about.
~Save or send little things, like that card you’ve been meaning to send, that will make someone smile one day when they pull them out again. I treasure the cards and notes I receive and save every single one and it’s made me more aware of sending them too.
~Start your own blog like this, even if it’s private. I have a diary one that’s just me and “finding my bootstraps” capturing these crazy life changes but I love to type. Do I do it daily, nope, but I’m getting better.
~Do videos, even a video diary, gosh I wish we had more videos. The ones we have of Mama are older and few but they mean everything now, to hear her voice and her laugh… there are no words. But those same videos seeing my babies in them, thinking I would remember that first Christmas or the one they got WAY too much…well, the several, but I wouldn’t trade those videos for anything and I know they will feel the same way.
I challenge you, along with myself, to do it. And I welcome you to share what YOU do here, what you’ve done, to capture someone else or to capture yourself. We’re all in this crazy life together, we’re all here for now, just from one moment to the next quite frankly, but someday, we really are going to be a memory, so let’s make it a good one and leave a few of them here for someone we love while we’re at it.
The end of corny (for now).
3 thoughts on “Pajamas and the pocketbook…”
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I really know how you feel indirectly – with Brandon’s brain injury….no two days are the same. I am like you- no time to squeeze in the thoughts that RACE through my mind. So I wish I had a personal secretary to document my thoughts throughout the day…to help me compose this journey. My friends are few – so if my aquaintences remember me for something I suppose that counts too. Thanks so much for you inspiring words.
I’ve been thinking about your Mama. And you. And then I check my email and see this blog post. I was almost afraid to read it. I guess because I know the progression. I do have the fear of forgetting. Each day I do word puzzles for that reason. I feel like I must exercise the brain! My deepest fear is that this will happen to my husband. His grandfather. His father. But I can’t predict the future so I have to let it go. It’s hard though. Not to think about it.