Mother’s Day 2009
For Mother’s Day, we had dinner with my mother-in-law at the dementia residence where she now lives. Meals with her now in essence mean eating in concert: a bite of chicken and vegetables for her, a bite for you, a bite for her, a bite for you. It can be tricky, and you end up more focused on whether she’s getting everything she needs. Or wants — assuming we can guess at what she wants. Even when she’s calm and alert as she was for most of our visit yesterday, it can be exhausting to be with her. I suspect that has to do with the fact that the more her disease progresses, the more difficult it is for us to recall her as the person she once was. It takes energy to do that. Though my husband did most of the work yesterday, I fed my mother-in-law her Jello dessert, and I couldn’t help but recall how strong she used to be. Once, when John was away I woke up so ill I could do no more than reach for the phone on the nightstand. She drove to my house and by herself got me out of bed, into her car, and to the doctor. I hope that somewhere in her mind is a remembrance of the gratitude I felt back then.
I attend a support group in Grapevine, and I find it very helpful. Here’s a link to the North Texas Alzheimer’s Association support groups page: