12/06/2005

remember or forget

I wrote a post awhile back about my step-dad who has Alzheimers. I was home visiting over the weekend so I got to spend some time with him. Sometimes I don't know how my mom does it, being his wife, his caregiver, his boss, his mother. That's what Alzheimers does, it takes away everything you know, everything you've learned, and turns you back into a kid that doesn't remember how to tie their shoes, take a shower, make a meal. It's heart breaking to see someone that once was so self reliant turn into a person that must depend on everyone else to survive. My mom gets so frustrated and she feels cheated. Her life now revolves around him whether she wants it that way or not. She loves my step-dad but she's only been married to him for 8 years so her time with him, healthy, has been limited. I guess it's harder to give up your life for someone that hasn't been present in your life forever. I wonder, if we knew that the days we spent with someone were limited, would we spend them differently? My step-dad tries desperately to remember his life, while my mom tries to forget hers. Some of us think remembering will set us free, some of us know forgetting is our only savior. If we had a choice, which would we choose, remembering or forgetting?

9 Comments:

  1. Troi Toy said...
    I used to do a lot of things that I planned to remember, but later on tried to forget. How's that for an answer?
    Chuck said...
    I think there's a verse that says something like, "greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." I'd like to think we marry our best friend.
    WDKY said...
    It's such a nasty illness, NWC... my Grandmother had it for some time and it was quite a strain.

    Years before that, I remember being at my Grandparents apartment for dinner (I was in my teens) and a great aunt was also there... she'd had the illness for some time by then. At one point during the meal, she lifted the tablecloth (well, it was a long time ago) above her head, sending everything crashing to the floor, and claiming that she was looking for her handbag! We all just stared in complete disbelief, but then I admit we burst out laughing. I think it was nervous laughter, though!
    Networkchic said...
    tt I have to admit...I've done the same thing. I think sometimes we want to remember but really it's that we're too afraid to forget.

    WDKY, sometimes it is funny, as insensitive as that sounds, when my step dad comes out with his shoes on the wrong feet part of me wants to laugh, the other part kicks myself in the butt for thinking it's funny. Sometimes laughing is all we can do.
    TJ said...
    Right now there's alot that I wish I could forget, but in the end I'd choose to remember it all.
    Joe said...
    Remembering. I can only imagine how painful it must be to forget everything.
    Tosa said...
    I'm very sorry to hear about your step-dad. I always thought he was a nice man. Please pass my best wishes on to your mom.

    I had a grandmother who had Alzheimers. I can't even image how hard it would be living with that on a daily basis.
    NML said...
    Remembering definitely. That must be incredibly hard for your mother and him also. Sudden illnesses/diseases cam be devastating to a family. My friends mother had a stroke at 50 and this vivacious woman that had complete freedom is now in a wheelchair being cared for. She can barely speak, walk and it's unbelievable what has happened. I'm sure that if we knew our time was limited we'd do things differently.
    sirreene said...
    Remembering makes us who we are. But having worked in a nursing care facility and having seen all 4 of my grandparents in a nursing care facility it is easier for the resident living through it NOT to know...who wants to know that they have come full circle and in their "golden years" are in diapers being cared for in such a manner? What a disgrace. I truly hope never to see those days but I do refer to myself as the "between diapers generation."

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