She Came Out of Her Room With Spirit

Visiting with mom after her first night at her new home. I just needed to see her one more time before I left.

When I decided to write a blog, my intention was to write about what I’m doing to get healthy and hopefully prevent Alzheimer’s disease in myself.  I didn’t want to write too much about my mom who has Alzheimer’s for a couple of reasons —  first, there are already “caregiver” and “long goodbye” blogs out there, and writing about my mom was just too close and personal for me.

But, as you know, close and personal is where I’ve been lately.

Moving my mom into a residential home and then leaving the next day was one of the most difficult things I’ve done.  I’ve wanted to run back every day since then to hug her one more time and tell her everything will be okay.   It feels like I dropped my child off at a babysitters never to pick her up again. Like she is watching out the window, waiting to go home and wondering why no one is coming.

Friday night was mom’s first night sleeping in her new home and I went over Saturday morning before my flight to check on her.  I was told that she came out of her room “with spirit” and fully dressed to include her favorite pink baseball cap that says Winchester, VA.  My mom then hugged the woman in charge and promptly sat down with a bowl of oatmeal and raisins.

Mom looked rested and she seemed to be alright as I visited with her.  She didn’t ask me anything about going home or when we were leaving and she seemed content and at ease like she had always been there at that table with the newspaper in front of her.  Although, I’ve heard she’s been asking lately when she’s going home.

As I was getting ready to leave I asked, “Do you like it here?”

Mom said, “Oh my yes!”  “It’s like . . .  it’s like . . . . it’s just like THIS” as she wrapped her arms around to give herself a big hug.

While my mom’s new home feels like a big hug, I’m sure there is a sense that it is not her home.  I hope it starts feeling like home real soon — for mom’s comfort and our peace of mind.  I hope.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Heidi Hall says:

    After visiting so many assisted living centers for dementia/Alzheimer’s myself, I’d have to guess that she will be a favorite resident and the caregivers will keep her very comfortable. Hope *you* start feeling more comfortable soon!

  2. Mallory Gurley says:

    As always, thinking of you, your family, and your precious mom! xoxo

  3. Susan Duff says:

    Joanne, I love that your have changed gears a bit to talk more of your mom and everyone’s overall journey. It sounds like she is in good hands. Your father will be so much more rested, both emotionally and physically, now as well. You are a good daughter! It is wonderful that you are sharing your family’s love with us.

    Susan

    • Joanne Leonardis says:

      Hi Susan, As I mention above, I did not want to write about my mom. She’s too young to be dying from this disease and sharing about this journey doesn’t come close to capturing the life and emotions surrounding my mother. With that said, this is all I want to write about right now because it’s what’s on my mind and in my heart. I also think writing about this is helpful for me. : ) I went for my first run today since I’ve been back and boy was it tough! But I hope to get back on track and find another 10K to run this summer.

  4. Lynda Ingle says:

    Joanne,
    I have been reading your blog and my heart goes out to you. We are dealing with a similar situation with Jim’s mom. She is at Via Christi in Ponca City, OK.

    • Joanne Leonardis says:

      Lynda! So nice to hear from you! I am so sorry this wretched disease has touched your family as well. I plan to write about a wonderful resource, a book to aid in the caring of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s called “Creating Moments of Joy” by Jolene Brackey. It’s a MUST READ for anyone wanting to communicate better with their afflicted loved one. How’s retirement?!

  5. Betty LaMoore says:

    Joanne,
    We visited with your mom on Friday, she greeted us with enthusiasm. She looks happy and showed us around including her room. She is eating all her food they give her too. You chose a good home for her. Talked to Gary yesterday and he saw her after church. Ruth seemed to really like it that Lou went with me. We will do it again. Thinking of you lots, Joanne.

  6. Joanne Leonardis says:

    Betty & Lou,
    I’m so glad you were able to visit my mom! And I’m happy that you like her new home as well. It just feels like home there. I hope to get back soon.
    Thank you,
    Joanne

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