By Lisa Hirsch
MOM IS MY SHINING STAR
She's only a pint size lady standing four feet nine inches tall, yet she has become to me a shining star in my life. On most days when I phone her I feel such joy just to be able to speak to her. This week was a little of a downer for me, because I foolishly left my water faucet on in my bathroom. Of course, I did not realize it. Is it possible that I am also getting Alzheimer's ? My building had shut off the water, as they do once a year, to clean the out water tanks. I had gone out for several hours and when I returned, I found a flood that has taken over a week to clean up.
I tried sharing this with my mom who didn't truly understand everything , although I must admit she did try to comfort me. I felt so careless and stupid, that I really just wanted her to tell me that everything will be okay. I realized that it was no big deal, except I did carry around with me a heaviness that lasted most of the week. Mom's wisdom was able to shine through, as she told me that as long as we have our health, that was all that was important.
When I phoned the next day, Elaine her cargiver said "your daughter Lisa is on the phone". I heard my mom sound surprised that I was calling. I asked her why she sounded surprised, and Ruthie's answer was," I hardly hear from you". I laughed and my response was, "Mom I call you everyday". Ruthie then replied, "I truly do not remember, but I still do love you". I then answered, "I love you too". She then said "we have no contest about who loves each other more". She continued with her words of wisdom, saying that the only thing that really matters is that we have our health .
Mom has been doing so well lately and I am starting to believe, that the coconut oil that she is given every morning by Elaine is working. You see I have no other explanation for what seems to be stablizing her with her Alzheimer's disease. She has no memory left, yet somehow she seems better.
Not only has she been so aware and sharp she has been also talking up a storm. Since I have returned from visiting her (which is almost a month) she continues to question me about when I will coming to see her . She now wants to know how long I will be staying. My answer is for one week, and her response is that it would be nice if I can stay longer. "Mom, I won't be able to stay longer, since I am coming with my husband, and he needs to get back to work". She then tries to convince me that I should come first, and he can come later. I make light of it by saying "are you asking me to move in with you" ? As usual we both giggle.
My mom only has one grandson who she adores. I'm not sure how much she remembers, because she is always surprised about everything. I constantly tell her where he works, lives and how tall he is . She still thinks that he is a young child. I know that on most days she does not know his name, for she will question me about how my children are doing. "Mom, I say, I only have one child". Ruthie seems to be surprised.
Today I explained how this week the weather in New York has been irrational. That one day it's fifty degress and that the following day it's eighty degrees. She immediately said "wow thirty degrees is a big difference". I was delighted that she was able to figure that out, and so quickly. It showed me for the moment that her mind had clarity.
To me my mom is an amazing lady who adds much joy to my life. It's so important to me while I can, to frolic in the joy she can bring. I do not know where Alzheimer's will be taking her. So for now our journey together will hopefully be filled with many bright days. I somehow consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. During these last several years my mom's disease has helped me get in touch with the deep love I have for her.
Smiles, laughter and joy can make anyone feel good. It certainly can place a smile in your heart and one on your face. My mom has become my shining star. We all seem to have choices in our lives, and for me, I choose to stay grateful for all that my mom has left, before she slips away.