By Lisa Hirsch
MY “DIFFERENT “MOM
Several years ago my mom came up to visit and I had known that she was starting to lose her memory (to dementia.) Yet I was not prepared to see what I saw.
My brother’s wife at the time, while my brother was visiting Mexico, helped my mom pack and put her safely on the airplane to New Jersey. We had moved to our weekend house just one hour from Manhattan which was located in Sparta, NJ. Our home was located on a mountain and had the most breathtaking views of Lake Mohawk. My mom really loved the house and I thought this would be good for her to come up and visit. She sat alone in her house everyday and I looked very much forward to taking her out. I was not prepared for how she would be, or look, as I met her at the gate at Newark Airport.
Mom had become so thin and frail with scabs all over her face and body. I felt literally sick. In six short months, since my mom had been up for Thanksgiving, my mom had changed both physically and mentally. How could there be such a decline in her well being in only a few months? Was she being taken care of? Who was around to care for her? Who made sure she was eating, or showering? Her visit was quite lovely and I found myself crying quite alot, without her knowing it. My heart ached and Logan, Bert & I tried to convince her to move up North from Florida to be near all of us. I could not understand why she refused to come live near us, so I and especially Logan could see her more often.
The last day of her trip was ending, and I took her to the airport. I was extremely upset to see her leave. When we got into the car she asked me to help her with the seatbelt and then I literally backed my car out of the garage with the door closed. The glass windows on the garage door all shattered and my car was damaged. I was so upset between my mom and the damage to my car that I started cursing and my mom said to me calmly, “this should be the worst thing that ever happens to you” and I looked at my mom and knew how right she was. The only thing she did not know was how very upset I was, not only to see her go, but how would, or could I take care of my mom?
My heart was breaking and for the next year or so I felt lost, upset and not knowing how or what I could do to help her. My brother was still in Mexico and his wife was checking in on my mom. Her memory was better back then, although she now was entering more into the “world “as an Alzheimer patient. She was not eating and that was why she had lost so much weight.
Her clothes were not fitting and her eye sight was getting worse. She was looking disheveled and starting to look like a bag lady. Have you ever felt helpless? I was feeling so terrible and not knowing what to do. Bert said that I could not make her move to New York and I certainly could not move to Florida.