February 1, 2014
My world is a bit more crazy and confusing than usual today.
I was helping Mom when she said the opposite of her usual “I want to go home” refrain. She said strongly, “I don’t want to go home.”
I was surprised, so I repeated, “You DON’T want to go home?”
“Okay,” I answered. “You don’t have to go home.”
Later on I asked, “Do you know who I am?”
With no hesitation she confidently answered, “Annabel.”
“No, I’m not Annabel.”
Mom raised her eyebrows in surprise, “You’re not Annabel?”
“No, I’m Cheryl.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
Mom again confidently answered, “Raymon. Just Raymon.”
And that’s the strange world we are in today. Mom is Raymon and Cheryl is Annabel and Mom does NOT want to go home. She didn’t want to take a bath or get dressed either, but that’s normal anyway.
My heart breaks for my dear mama, though. Except when she’s sitting right next to Dad or sleeping, she’s so often upset and angry. She hollers and makes crying sounds. I think she’s scared and doesn’t understand what is happening.
I wrap my arms around her and tell her I love her and I’m here to help her. And I wish I could give her understanding and calmness and peace. I wish I could hug away all her fears and anxieties. I wish she knew she was safe with us and that we love her so much.
And I’m so grateful that she still finds comfort in sitting next to Dad. After the trauma of caring for Mom, I too often need comforting myself. And I find it seeing Mom content and peaceful, cuddled up close to Dad.
And it makes me thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who always wants me to draw close to Him. And He will hold me close to His heart and hide me under the shadow of His wings.
He is the God of all comfort and in His presence I can be content even in the craziness of this confusing world. So I will try to stay close to His warmth and know that I am loved.
Such precious pictures!
Thank you for the post. It is comforting to me, even two years after my parents have gone home to be with the Lord, to hear your stories which so paralleled mine. You used the word “trauma” to describe what was happening to you during the caregiving. You are the first and only person I’ve ever heard use that term in connection to dementia. You are absolutely right! It is VERY traumatizing to have the one who always cared for you and took care of you to become lost right in front of your eyes in the scary world of dementia. Each day , after being with MOM, I would almost run to my Bible to find comfort from God’s word. I am so thankful He met me there in His word and told me He would never leave and that there was no where I could go to escape His presence and love. I remember telling a friend after my mom’s funeral that I felt like I had PTSD. I knew it probably sounded silly to her but I didn’t know how else to describe how I was feeling. Your posts of your caregiving experience have been so instrumental in helping me unravel it all . I am thankful you and I both had and continue with the comfort of God to see us through.
What would we do without His love and presence? I’m so thankful you have His comfort! And grateful to hear my posts have been helpful– all glory to God! May He bless you, Ivy!