I do not like you. You are not my friend. You are not welcome here. I would rather you take a hike. But, I know that’s not going to happen. You aren’t leaving. You are here to stay.
You have robbed me of so much. Not just me, but my whole family. You have taken away every memory she made, every thought she just had, and every memory that she still has to make.
She doesn’t know me. She recognizes my face. But, she doesn’t know who I am. She doesn’t know my children.
She doesn’t remember the day I was born.
She doesn’t remember all the times she picked me up from school and cooked me homemade meals.
She has forgotten all the Easters and coloring Easter eggs. It was her favorite holiday, I believe. She enjoyed getting out the special tablecloth and all the supplies. The room would always fill with excitement each year as all of us grandchildren and great-grandchildren made special designs.
She has no idea where she used to live or how we would play on the swings or in the woods for hours. She doesn’t remember the mailbox flowers.
She has no recollection of all the beach vacations. A time of rest and relaxation that she loved more than anything. It was the one chance each year when we all could let go and just have fun being together.
She has no idea that I got married and she asks how I ended up with all these children. She doesn’t recall the excitement as each addition happened.
She’s just so confused. She’s confused all the time. She’s upset. She’s crying. At times, she wants me to stay and begs me to take her with me. She bangs on the hidden exit door. Where does she want to go? She doesn’t know. She would go anywhere but where she is at the moment. Or, she wants me to leave the minute I get there. She’s agitated and just wants to be left alone. There aren’t many happy moments anymore. Thanks dementia. Thanks a lot!
Dementia – I will not let you win. I will not ask God why. I refuse to let the suffocation of fear overtake me as I wonder if I will be just like her one day. Will I remember all the memories I am making with my children or future grandchildren? Will they all be in vain?
Dementia – Despite how difficult you make each day and the tremendous loss that you make me feel, you are helping my children and me learn how to love without the thought of return. You are showing us that each day matters.
Sometimes, I wish I would have done things differently before things got so bad. I should have went to visit more often. Eventhough you, Dementia, were making things unbearable. I now realize that wasn’t an excuse.
You aren’t an excuse to push her aside or make the wrong choices just because you make things so hard. So today, I choose to make the best of what you have left me with. I choose to love my grandmother no matter how sad you make me, or no matter how much you make me want to hide and scream. I choose to love and show others how to love through such a horrible disease.
So, take that dementia! She might not remember all the memories we shared, but I do. And, I will focus on the good ones. The ones built out of love.
And, even though you have taken my grandmother and made her into someone completely different, we still have a lot of memories to make. Memories to make from the true definition of love. You will not win this battle. God’s got this, and He will carry all of us through. He knows her needs and ours. We will praise Him in the storm of this uphill battle.