I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

During the last years of her life when my Mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s she rarely knew who I was.  She would mistake me for a nurse whom she would thank for my gift and on occasion she was convinced that she had never met me before.

On my last visit to her some years before her death, she had a few lucid moments and in one of these she briefly talked about my son, thinking he was a little boy still and saying that he could come and stay with her at any time.

How sad it was to see this once strong woman reduced to a shell.

Because I live on the other side of the world to her – she in London and me in Wellington NZ – I only managed to visit every two years.  On each visit there was a noticeable decline and her hold on reality was slipping further away.

Following her death I was ‘haunted’ with her question to me “Who are you?” that she asked on my final visit.  I determined then to find out all I could about keeping the mind active as well as to exercise to keep the body trim and fit.

I knew that our thoughts determine the results we achieve and in the next weeks and months I will share with you my journey.  The journey is still continuing and will do so until I die at which time I will not have to ask my daughter “Who are you?”.

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3 thoughts on “I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Excellent.

    Alzheimers is just so cruel, to my mind. That is, to have lived a whole life, and not even remember it, the people in it. That would have hurt me, it really would have hurt me for my mother to ask that.

    You’re strong. Good on you for making good of what ‘just is’.

  2. Thank you Noelene for this comment. The question raised by my mother still rankles at times and I am doing all I can to make sure that I never have to ask my daughter tat question.

  3. My mother suffered from a form of dementia towards the end of her life. In a way it was perhaps lucky for her that a stroke brought about her death.
    With my mother we experienced too that she didn’t know who anyone was.
    But she remembered some things from her past and she enjoyed it when the whole family sat together around a table and she was one of us.
    As I mentioned in one of my blogs she became quite childlike in her old age. My brother was her main carer. But she didn’t seem to know that he was her son. However she always enjoyed his company. She lived in Berlin, Germany. I live in Australia. Naturally over the years I didn’t see her very often. Her sudden death shook me up quite a lot at the time. She died in 1994 aged 83. As far as I remember, the loss of memory occurred gradually only over the last three or four years of her life.
    I am not really scared that this could happen to me. If it does, I’m only sorry for the people who have to look after me. I don’t think people who lose their memory are greatly unhappy. If I have a choice I would just like to die of old age and not linger on with some kind of sickness that incapacitates me to a degree where I need all kinds of machines to keep me alive.
    Thanks for this post, Judith. It brings back memories. To think about these things is greatly important to me.

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