And it’s over

The holidays.

I suppose that’s the wrong attitude, but despite the lovely gathering of family and another of friends, I found this season difficult. Some is the slow grieving that accompanies the loss of mom as we know her. And the rest is the introvert side of me that seems to be taking over. I love seeing people in small groups, but I find large gatherings stressful, intimidating .

But I have to say, when I see this photo of all of gathered, my heart is full. This doesn’t happen often- ever? So, the day was special to this mom, grandma, daughter, wife.

Sleepless in Fredericksburg

Why is that light on? Have I had dinner yet? Is today Christmas? Did you ever know your Dad?

It seems that Mom is all questions these days. Her Alzheimer’s is slow-growing. Is that even a way to describe it? We first noticed changes in her as Dad was dying ten years ago, though we attributed much of it to grief and stress. A year later, we realized she had changed, and the long journey began.

These days, she does little for herself. Nurses provide her meds and daily care. Her food is prepared and served at regular times. She has given up solitaire, church, even friends. I visit nearly every day, volunteer — exercise, anyone? — and keep her room organized and supplies updated. Is it enough? Probably not in her mind.

That means I am often waking at 3am wondering if she is ok. Is her bed dry? Is she bored? Will it upset her if we bring her to the house for the holidays? And truth be told, do I even want to?

Still, I am glad she knows me. I appreciate (most of the time) events with her like the party at the assisted living facility where she now lives. She has a “boyfriend” who sits at her dining table, though she forgets about him once he returns to his own room. Soon, she will struggle with knowing who I am. She will retreat into herself.

I wonder if I’ll start sleeping again.