I went to see my mama today. I found her at the end of the hall that leads to her room. She was sitting in her wheelchair, staring intently out the glass door that looks out onto the parking lot.
I came up to her and touched her arm and asked, " What are you doing mama?" She turned to me with the fading blue eyes that don't recognize her youngest child anymore and said, " Hi Mam! I was just sitting here, waiting...My mama is suppose to come and get me today and take me home with her." I swallowed hard and said, "She is? Well that will be nice." As she happily talked about getting to go home again, I quickly got behind her wheel chair and began rolling her back to her room.
The nurses say that she can not find her room anymore and that worries me all the time. What if she wants to lie down, or just be in her room? I know the nurses will take her there, if they aren't too busy, but what if she doesn't think to ask?
When I get her to her room, I give her the little goodies bag I have brought with me. Like a child, she loves the little treats I bring her. Sometimes it is a few cookies, sometimes peanut butter and cheese crackers, sometimes candy.Today it was a couple of soft oatmeal raisin cookies and a few animal crackers. She immediately took half of them out and placed them on her little eating table there in front of me. Then she began begging me to eat. Back on Horseshoe Bend, she never ate until all her children had eaten....old habits die hard.
The whole time she was munching on her cookies, she was asking me to come live with her and her mama; my (deceased)grandmother. She was explaining how we would have such a good time living together.
It seems that the further my mama goes into the Alzheimer's, the further back her mind takes her. The years that her mind has taken her to now are way before my time. So I am no longer in her world now. Not as her baby girl anyway. I am "Mam"...just some lady who comes around to see her...and this breaks my heart.
I busy myself doing things, so I can try to forget about the lump in my throat. I start by brushing her hair. Then I began clipping her fingernails and end by changing her sweater to a newer one...a cleaner one. I am thinking about all the times she did these very same things for me. The whole time I am fixing her up, she is begging me to come live with her and her mama. No matter how hard I try to change the subject, she is having none of it. Like a merry-go-round, we go around and around with it...over and over.
After a while, I tell her I have to leave. She asks me when I will be back and I tell her soon...As I am walking out of her room, she calls for me to come back..and I do. She looks at me a minute and she says very quietly; " If I'm not here when you get back, it is because I have gone home with mama".
I am trying my very best not to cry before I get out of her room. Just as I get back to the door to leave, she yells, " HEY!!! You know what??"
I stop again, turn around, smile and say, "What Mama?"
She smiles the brightest smile and says, "Tommie is alive!"
( Tommie is her brother who passed away in the early 60's)
My mama...the lady her gave me life..who fed me, clothed me, washed my little body in a tin tub...stayed with me during my many sicknesses and stood by me all my life.... Has left me to go somewhere back in time.
Like a little child, I want to beg, "please don't leave me mama"...I want to wail and cry and throw a hissy fit..I want my mama to come back....
Listening to her talk about where her and her mama's home is, she has to be somewhere in the 1930's.
A place in time where she still has her brother and sisters, and her mama...A place in time where life was simple and good.
I love you my mama.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.