It is a sad day when you have to take your mother and father and place them in assisted living. All of their possessions stay put in their house. A house they will never come home to. It broke my heart. What hurt me the worst was telling my mom she only had two choices.....the assisted living or a nursing home. You see...my mom had Alzheimers and my dad was dying with lung cancer. My mom had hidden her disease as long as she could and when it put my father in danger I had to step in and come to his aid. They only lived in the assisted living from September to October. We got them two rooms so they could have a bedroom together and a sitting area. My mom hated the place. My dad just was there. We paid the first month's rent and I tried to make it as homey a place as I could. Neither of my parents ate well and they continued to dwindle away. One September morning my husband handed me a reality check and told me it was time to tell my dad it was ok to go home. Not the home in Kellyton, or my home where they had been living for the past five years, but to his heavenly home. I had a dream a few days before this and was visited by my brother. My brother died when he was five....the man in the dream was close to my age so I did not recognize him until he spoke. He told me it was ok to let daddy go and that it was his turn to take care of them. I remember in my dream telling him NOOOOOOO. (I am ashamed.....but since I am an only child.....I actually woke up telling him that he had to take them both!) A few days later, while visiting my parents at the Meadows, Frank took my mom for a walk and I knelt before my dying father and told him it was ok. I promised him I would take care of momma and that he should go do what he needed to do to prepare a place for them both and be with my brother. Nine days later my father was dead and my world collapsed. His earthly pain was over and my travels down the road of dementia with my mother had just begun. I have to admit....I hate cancer.....but I understand it. Dementia is something that I did not understand. Dementia robbed my mom of her memories, her mind, her life. It is a dreaded disease that I did not and still do not understand. It is a sad day when your mom tells you on Tuesday that YOU (meaning the other you) came to see her on Monday. One nugget I will give you....find things to laugh at, smile about....and just keep on loving them. Sigh! If you are out there and have a parent, sibling, friend who has been stricken with dementia my heart bleeds for you. Just know that I am here and would love to talk to you about your story.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.