Today is Monday September 29, 2008. I am just getting over "Strep Throat" which has taken its toll over the past 10 days. I have felt a little disconnected from the world and especially my mom. I decided tonight after dinner I would make her some popcorn(a favorite treat of hers) and go visit. My mom is adjusting to life in an assisted living group home. She is no longer capable of living on her own and the level of care she needs is more than anyone of us could give her. She is living in a wonderful group home with a staff of caregivers who are truly amazing. Her safety and care was paramount to each of us..
When I drove up to the house tonight I had to smile....The gorgeous cape cod style house was decked out in Halloween attire....Very seasonal....I was greeted warmly as always... I walked up the stairs and Bonnie was in with my mom getting her ready for bed. My mom was excited to see me and the first thing she asked was..."Carla, I am so glad to see you, you must have felt inspired to visit me tonight....I was hoping you would come." With popcorn in hand and feeling very inspired we had an amazing 90 minutes. We shared a connection, tears, memories and many good belly laughs.
I felt helpless when tears flooded her eyes, "I want to go home, I just want to go home, I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life." she said. I thought how profound...a new chapter in her life. As her Alzheimer's progresses I am astounded how clearly she thinks and communicates for those few precious moments. She shared her tears and frustrations with me, going as far as to apologize for feeling the need to complain, which is something my mom just doesn't do...complain....she reminded me complaining does no good anyway...because nobody wants to listen to a complainer. I tried to fight the tears myself but to no avail....the free fall had begun. As I listened to my mom express her concerns about her Alzheimer diagnosis my heart ached. How could this be happening? and of course why my sweet mom? She then shifted to a place of bravery. She reminded me life is no picnic and troubles come to all. We talked about many spiritual experiences and the most touching was her personal witness that the veil which separates us from our loved ones on the other side is very thin and not to far away. She expressed her love for her parents and the admiration she had for her mother. She shared her favorite childhood experience of taking the train to Yellowstone...or for that matter driving in her dad's old truck with the shell on top. She called those trips really living.... She would then revert back to her wall of pictures and say...there are a bunch of happy faces on my wall....I am lucky to go to bed and wake up every morning with all of those happy faces looking at me.
We talked about my children and how very proud she is of each one of them. We reminisced about heartfelt memories. I am so grateful my children will always have such fond memories of Grandma Mannes. My mom looked at me tonight and said..."I hope we take more good memories than the bad ones when we leave this earth." I told her I bet we do. I felt of my mother's sweet testimony and was touched when she asked if I would kneel in prayer with her at her bedside. What an honor to share that priceless moment with my mom.
I am most grateful for....popcorn and a mother's inspiration.
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