another step down the spiral
gerry: "hi rose. "
me: "hey gerry. what's up?"
gerry: 'how are you?"
me: "i'm okay. you?"
gerry: "i'm fine. i have some news."
i knew he had something to tell me. gerry usually doesn't call unless there's something to share. i'm the one that calls just to chat.
me: "okay, what's going on with mom? i'm assuming it's not good."
gerry: "rose, we're moving her to the alzheimer's/dementia unit. the move should be done within the next 2 weeks."
me: 'she's that bad already? seems like it was just christmas and it wasn't that bad....."
gerry: "well, she's not leaving her apartment. she's afraid she'll get lost. her not taking showers is because she's afraid she'll fall, and she's starting to soil her clothes and hide them from us."
me: "just like a kid, huh? wow, things are really heading downhill quickly. quicker than i thought."
gerry: "i know. i took her to see the place. she likes it, so she won't give us a hard time about the move."
me: "want me to come back and help?"
gerry: "no....that's ridiculous. oakwood has men that will move her for $26/hour. there are a few things she can take with her. the rest i'm going to take to a consignment shop. the money i'll put in an account for her for incidentals."
me: "that's a good idea. what are we going to do about hannah?"
gerry: "i'll send her an email. she can't be bothered to visit, i can't much be bothered to do much else than that."
me: "i know........" and the tears come.
gerry: "rose, you know this is best for her."
me: "oh gerry, i'm not crying about the move. i'm crying because it hurts to watch. it hurts to see her dignity go, to see her memory go, to not be able to have a conversation with my mom anymore."
gerry: "i know, honey. but there's not a thing we can do to change it."
me: " yeah, i know that. i just wish......i miss my mom."
gerry: "yeah, i know. "
and the conversation continues. gerry filling me in on the up side of the alzheimer's unit. it will be good for her. she'll be able to walk and get some exercise now. they have all sorts of activities to keep the patients busy and stimulated. the stimulation, exercise and extra care will be perfect for mom. in that way, i'm relieved and happy for her. the down side is what it symbolizes........the continuing decline. such a cruel disease.....one that robes you of who you are. and robes your family of you..........as difficult as my mom could be sometimes, as cruel as she could be when i was younger, those things changed with the onset of alzheimer's. she turned into a happy, loving person. yet, i miss both. i learned to be a survivor from mom......my strength, my creativity comes from her........my heart aches as i watch her decline. but, the logical side is relieved she's got a place to be that will be good for her...........