Dementia and alzheimer's are truly the thieves of life. There's something very hurtful, like a bubble bursting in your heart feeling when your mom no longer knows who you are. But you go on, and you deal the best you can, tuck away that hurt and save it for those moments when you just need a good cry.
A little history: My mom had a stroke May 12th of 2011. She's 88. She was already suffering small signs of forgetfulness but was able to function and as long as her life had a routine, she just did her thing and was happy. She has lived in an apartment in my home for over 27 years now, so she was never really alone. Dad died in 2005. That's when Mom started to have problems walking. Joint pain, etc. so her activities were curtailed. As I look back, I think that was the beginning of the state she's in now. The start and breaking her hip while trying to rehab from the stroke probably was the final blow.
One of the sayings Mom used to greet visitors with (I say had as she no longer says it) was "Who are you!" It was a joke, sort of a little reminder that maybe someone hadn't visited in a while. We'd sort of joke that one of these days she's going to say it, and mean it! I'm saddened to say it is no longer a joke. Between the stroke and the hip surgery and all the meds they had/have her on...she really no longer knows who I am on any given day. I say any given day because sometimes she looks at me and smiles and I can see in her eye she knows me but those moments are few and far between.
Today was a "Who are you?" sort of day, and she meant it. Maybe next visit, Mom will be there instead.
The mother I knew is no longer the woman I see. I no longer recognize the woman I visit. She's been stolen away. I think it a cruel irony that the body goes on when the mind refuses to follow. Dementia and alzheimer rob from us all.
This is Mom and Dad on their wedding day, March, 1948 - One of my favorite photos of the two.
And one of the few photos of dad she still recognizes!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Ghosts...real or imagined? Anyone have an opinion on this?
I tend to lean toward the belief that they exist, in some form. It's the little girl in me, I guess.
I'm sort of inclined to go with the unaware ghostly scenes or replays people speak of seeing as more akin to time overlapping or crossing...like a wheel spinning in time...our present is the hub that all other times are linked, and sometimes the wheel spins either too fast or too slow. The spoke speeds get out of sync, some are slower and some are now faster and the faster ones overtake the slower ones, and for just a moment you get a look into the past, or maybe even the future.
That might explain a lot of sightings of oddities in the past. Imagine sitting around the chuck wagon on a bright night and suddenly you see a jet soaring across the sky? Hmmm, I see a UFO tale in the making.
Anyway, then I believe there are real ghosts, as in aware of you and its surroundings and they linger. Who knows why. Unfinished business, tragic death, the opinions are many.
Have you ever had a ghostly encounter?
I think I have. It was right after my dad died. For several days before and several after the funeral, I would get a sense that Dad was near and my dogs would suddenly just sit down and look up as if looking at someone standing over them, and they'd wag their tails.
The night after we buried dad, I was awaken by my phone ringing. I think it was about 1 a.m. When I answered it, there was nothing but static. I kept saying hello, hello, and then, just as I went to hang up, as if from very far away I heard my name. It was my Dad's voice! So, yes, I tend to believe :)
Now, on a purely promotional side...I'll be a part of a ghost program this October. Details below. Hope to see some of you there!
Writing about Bumps in the Night and Other Frights
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 1:30pm
Gardner Neighborhood Library
137 E Shawnee Street
Gardner, KS 66030
In the spirit of Halloween fun, Kansas authors Lee Killough, Linda Madl, and Sheri L. McGathy discuss their fascination with the supernatural creatures, fantasy beings, and ghosts that inspired their writing. The authors will read from their works and answer questions about their writing and the things that give us all goose bumps.
Lee Killough is published in sci-fi and is known for her supernatural and urban fantasy mysteries. Linda Madl is published in historical romance and short stories, including several ghost stories. Sheri L. McGathy is published mainly in fantasy and has earned several awards for her work.