I still feel guilt for how little I was able to pay attention to my one year old daughter at the time because I was trying so hard to figure out what to do with my grandma. Then there was the guilt that I felt when getting annoyed or upset that my grandmother was at my door knocking for the twentieth time in three hours. I just wanted some time to myself so that I could be a good mommy.
Finally, the last straw was when she fell in her house and my husband found her. She had just passed out and was coming to when he came in. Suddenly we knew that we had to either have her move in, or we would find a home for her.
We tried to find a daycare. We did that for a couple of months, but my mom and husband were getting tired of how angry she would be on the drop-off and pick-up hours. She would cuss, yell, and scream…a symptom of the Alzheimer’s. Then came the angry visits at night where she would come over and yell at us that we were stealing from her.
It wasn’t anything she or we could control…I’ve read that this is a common problem with this kind of disease.
Then we moved her to full care facility. That’s where she had been for the past two years. In the last year it has been hard to even take her out for home visits because she would become so agitated. Her body seemed to be going strong, but her brain was deteriorating fairly quickly.
The last few months she had even forgot who my mom was and was only asking for her mom and dad and siblings. She wasn’t even asking for my grandfather–her husband of 62 years.
Yet when the doctor checked her vitals just a couple of weeks ago, she said that she had great vitals. Strangely, hearing that, worried us. How do you continue to have a person who’s body is doing wonderfully, but her brain is disappearing. She was just crying all day, never comfortable where she was at, always afraid because she couldn’t remember two minutes before.
A couple of weeks ago she fell and broke her hip. I had heard and read that a lot of times this can be the end for people. And sure enough, she has been unable to recover from her fall and surgery. She has stopped eating, almost as though she doesn’t remember how and dropped weight on a body that was already small.
This morning we got contacted–she has been with hospice this week–that she has become quiet and is no longer looking strong. They expect that it could be within the next few hours.
Despite how much I know that this is better for her, it is surprising how sad I was when I received the news this morning.
Yet here are my thoughts…It’s more about the fact that I can’t be there. It’s also more about the way she has just suffered the last two years. Alzheimer’s is a horrible thing.
They say that Alzheimer’s is possibly related to smoking. Well, my grandmother never smoked, but my grandpa smoked everyday of his life. It was my grandmother that had a bad cough from being around that smoke all her life. Will we ever know the cause for this disease? Maybe…but it will take many more years of study.
So even though I have been sharing, posting, writing all about the adventures of Hawaii and how amazing it is to live here, I just want to take the moment to assure you that life still continues. We still have worries–money, kids, family, selling of house, buying of house, new jobs…
and most importantly I think about this blog constantly. I hope that it is inspiring to you. I hope that it makes you all want to go out and pursue life. I hope that it helps you realize beauty is LIFE.
Beauty is not what we look like. Beauty is not how successful we are. Beauty is truly in the way we see things. If we can drop the negative instincts and realize that perspective is 95% the basis for our beauty then we will see things so differently.
I am so grateful to all of you who have come my way. I hope that I can continue to be a part of your day for years to come.