2/21/2006

stealing home

You were not invited. Through the windows of his soul you came as quietly as a thief, searching his possessions, taking what seemed useful, leaving behind half empty boxes. Pictures of his life thrown carelessly by the wayside, barren walls reflecting the cruelty of it all, shining a spotlight on what no longer remains. He stands there - confused. Was someone here before? Where did his life go? Why can't he remember? He laid it there on the nightstand, his self-respect, but now that's gone too. You couldn't leave anything behind, could you? The things you take, the objects that litter the backseat of your car, they are just fragments that are meaningless to you - to him they are moments that define him. The faces once drawn in pencil on the canvas of his mind, have been erased yet tiny specs of dust remain to cast a shadow on his last bit of hope. He can almost see it, his past. But the moments seem to slip so quickly from reality that some part of him wonders if he ever really existed at all. Was he real? We tried to make you give back those things you stole. But thieves have no conscience. You were not invited so please, go home.

Some of you may have read about my step father having Alzheimers, some of you may be reading this post wondering what the hell I'm talking about. The truth is that sometimes even my own mind feels burglarized but somehow I'm still whole. Tonight my mother told me that the time has come to put this magnificent man into a nursing home. The mere sound of those words clash so violently against my heart that I can almost feel it breaking inside my chest. I knew it was coming, that time. But I've become so good at pretending that I actually thought somehow, he'd get better. Better at remembering. Better at dressing himself. Better at being - the man I love so dearly. But he can't. I want you to know that this life we have, whether it's one you are thankful for or not, it's one you will want to remember some day. Remembering makes you free, forgetting ties you to a prison you will never escape. I hope that no matter what the memory, you always choose to remember. Some day, you might not have a choice.

16 Comments:

  1. NMAMFQLMSH said...
    Have you seen the Notebook?
    I see you,
    JJ
    PS: I have had anyone close to me with Alzheimers. I can only imagine.
    e.e. said...
    hey sweetie.
    My nana died of Alzhiemers over 6-7 years ago now.
    My mom suffers from dimensia, and is a nursing home now.
    The disease does rob you of the person you knew. I won't lie to you.
    Hold on to the memories for him.
    Write them down, as you do. Share with us.
    It's hard, I know.
    I have a picture of my nana sticking her tongue out at me while I am photographing her.... showing the true nature of her personality, which was fun, upbeat, caring.
    I will not forget her.
    No one can take that from me.
    For now.
    sirreene said...
    I worked in a nursing facility for years. If your mom says it is time then it is. People are placed there when they need care. There will be good and bad days ahead. More that you will remember then your stepfather.
    Alexis said...
    I'll keep you all in my prayers.
    k o w said...
    I can not imagine how difficult it is to put a loved one into a nursing home. I wish you and yours all the best. It's gotta be an incredibly difficult time.
    Tab said...
    Net!((HUGS))
    NML said...
    {{{{hugs}}}} I'm thinking of you.
    DayByDay4-2Day said...
    When my grandmother was very physically unheathly my mom was taking care of her and she would say I don't kow which is worse loosing your health or your mind. Neither!
    Caterpillar said...
    I'm so sorry, NWC. I was actually just talking to a coworker yesterday about this - her mother has Altzheimer's and is in a home. I didn't realize how much it stole not only a person's memories but their ability to do things as well - like dress, use a fork, and talk.

    You're in my thoughts over this. And also, the ending to your post was so powerful and such a good point.
    Shannon said...
    wow NWC... I am sorry to hear about yout stepdad. Your post really made me feel it, and I will being praying for you, your mom and your step dad...
    Networkchic said...
    Thank you so much for the well wishes and kind words. One of the hardest things you'll ever have to do in your life, is watch someone you love forget you. Some of us choose to forget but we always have that option to remember if we want to. My step dad doesn't have any options and quite honestly it just sucks. I'm going to spend the weekend with him and try to be as strong as I can but when I see him cry because he knows, at least for the moment, that he's leaving his home, it really breaks me. Even the strongest spirit breaks under such an intense load. I'm going to have to give this one to God, it's much too heavy for me to carry alone.
    Tab said...
    Thank You for stopping by and offering your support and kind words Networkchic :)
    Lance said...
    We want it not to be so, and I appreciate your heart in revealing to us that it has come to be. I have many feelings from this.
    WDKY said...
    NWC, I've lived through this experience myself, more than once, and it's a cruel illness. You can only try to be strong, and my thoughts are with you.
    Tab said...
    Networkchic,
    I can imagine this is very difficult but you have a magic about you I just know your Step Father will have in his spirit forever.
    Thinking about'cha ~
    Lori said...
    I knew right away what you were talking about. Alzheimer's and dementia are thieves that steal a person's memory and dignity. And though initially it is so hard on the person inflicted, the true struggle is for those who love the one who is ill.

    I remember when we had to put my grandfather in a home and it isn't an easy choice. Sit with him, read to him and tell him stories of life with him as you knew it. I believe that there is a part of one's heart that still remembers when the sunshine fell upon their path. God bless you all.

Post a Comment