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.