As I begin a new adventure as a blogger, I feel a bit nervous, confused about the process and intimidated by treading into a new area that I don’t really understand. It’s not lost on me that this is likely just a small taste of how my mom starts every day. She has Alzheimer’s disease. If she can somehow make enough sense out of her jumbled and confusing thoughts to put together a way to get out of bed and negotiate getting dressed, (even if her clothes are inside out and her shoes don’t match), I should be able to stumble through this process. So, with the bravest and most wonderful mother in the world as my inspiration, here I go.
I am by nature a peace-maker, a trait that I inherited from my mom. She taught me well and I am usually successful. But, my journey to make peace with this imposing and most unwelcomed new part of my family’s life, my mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, will be the ultimate test of my abilities. As much as I want to be a “glass-half-full” person, the reality is that the “half-empty” feeling usually comes first for me. But, I am also a fighter, (this trait I inherited from my dad.) In my heart of hearts, I know that there is a path to make peace with my family’s new reality.
I have been given a lot. My parents live in a wonderful retirement community in Phoenix where they are surrounded by support and resources. My father’s unimagined abilities as a caregiver make my mom’s life rich. My three amazing brothers and I, although separated by distance remain close and involved in our parents’ lives. I wish that my mom did not have Alzheimer’s, but she does. Even so, each of us searches daily for a way to love each other and live each day to its fullest. This by the way, was something my mom modeled for us every day growing up and continues to do so with the utmost in grace and authenticity. Thanks Mom.