Sometimes milestones are wonderful markers on life's journey, and sometimes they are hard blows. Last week was a celebration as my youngest daughter graduated high school, then came the awful decision that mom was no longer safe at home after being found confused and disoriented in the lobby of the local small town post office...luckily by a dear friend of mine who called me right away.
And also luckily there was a bed available in a truly wonderful assisted living facility...one with a memory unit.
Mom, obviously, has Alzheimer's. She is one of the ones that also presents with Sundowner Syndrome as well. She seems and actually is very good during the day, but the discontent, restlessness, irritability, and desire to wander hit her in the evening. It's heartbreaking.
It has taken my mom before her body gave out. And that isn't really fair.
And as nice as the facility is, she felt so hurt and totally BETRAYED when we went in with her to stay. No matter what we'd said in the past, to her going to Clover Ridge was a sneak attack she knew nothing about. In her mind I tricked her into going in and now she's locked up.
No matter what our reality is, that IS her reality.
And there is no way around that. Except that after a couple days she sort of forgot she was mad at me. She started looking forward to seeing her neighbors and realized there were some church friends in there that she knew already. So she's settling. Somewhat.
I know this will be up and down. Some days she will forget she settled in and it will be back to being like the first day she got there. Other days she'll be too busy to visit with me. That's ok because what I DO know is that I don't have to get a call from the police saying my mom fell on some side street and someone found her and the worst has happened. I know she will be OK and cared for and SAFE!!
I love her and want her to not only have safety, but dignified safety. She will be ok and I'll get used to it. I miss her already. She was an amazing, classy lady who is very much responsible for my love of wonderful beautiful things and especially my love of books. I'm so proud when people comment on how much we look alike.
These are the milestones marked with the tears of heartache, but still filled with love.