...I am writing this a year and a half after my mom died peacefully in our home here in the countryside of Virginia. What a surprise to find that it is exactly eighteen months, when I check the calendar for today's date. For awhile now, I've wanted to write a small post for you to find should you come here for the first time and wonder what it is all about and how to get around. I will explain those things in just a moment, but this is a good opportunity to weave a few loose threads into the fabric of this journal...
After Mom died, I was unsure if I would go on writing here. It would seem that the answer is "no", for the most part. Tho' there have been so many small milestones and observances...when we moved into her room last Summer...when her car officially became mine and I changed out her Baebug plates for plain ones...the first Mother's Day without her, and then another...the first birthdays (my own and hers)...the selling of her beach house...every full moon when we toast her gentle passing and her lively life.
In fact, there is really only one big step left to take, and we will do that next month when we spread her ashes in Kauai, as she always wanted us to do. There have been so many tiny steps and feelings in these past months, scattered amongst the large ones, but they have mostly led to a place of happiness...when my glance falls on the photo of her eighteen-year-old self that keeps me company in my studio at the moment...or when I realized last month that I am no longer taking care of her in my dreams-my mom, my before-Alzheimer's mom-has returned to me when I sleep.
This blog begins in 2010 and the first post may be found here, if you'd like to read from the very beginning. At the bottom of that and every other post, you will see a "newer post" and "older post" at the bottom of the page below the comments. That is a simple way to read through post after post, in order, with those first two years of posts being all about the caregiving.
In late November of 2012, when we realized that Mom was leaving us, I wrote more often than usual and that last part of the journey is chronicled, beginning with this post. In the sidebar on the left are the Archives with links to each and every post I've made here, as well as to the About page that I wrote in 2010. At the time, I thought that these caregiving years would go on much longer than they did. For my mom's sake and our own, I am grateful that they didn't...for the sad days and moments were definitely beginning to outnumber the happy or peaceful ones.
Whatever brings you here, but especially if you are taking care of a loved one with dementia, I hope that you find something that helps you to go on, with compassion and tenderness, and perhaps even occasionally, joy.