Monday, April 24, 2006

The Long Goodbye

I didn't post yesterday. Today's post is about where I was.

That phrase for Altzheimers was aptly coined by Patti Davis about her father, Ronald Reagon. I'm in the process now of saying that goodbye to my mother-in-law of twenty-five years. My husband had planned the hour's drive up to her house yesterday, where she lives with her last husband of ten years now. He married her when it looked as if she'd had a minor stroke with some resultant memory problems, but that problem turned out to become Altzeimers.

As most of you know, I'm on a short tether, energy-wise, from CFIDS, and yesterday started with 3 1/2 hour's sleep following throwing up late into the night from something inexplicable that I ate, and waking before dawn. So many trips I've not felt at all like I could make the drive and wanted to go this time, so weaving from lack of sleep, got up there. I want to see her when I can while she still remembers her family. Yes, I know that will eventually go, too.

Right now, she can no longer remember how to sign her name, turn light switches on and off, cut her meat, or dress. Her husband adores her and takes good care. As those of you know who have someone you love with the illness, it's hard to watch a once vital person simply slip away. I lucked out with my mother-in-law. She's been a good one. Not everybody can say that.

I'm including pictures from the visit. You'll see me, my husband with his mom, my mother-in-law and her husband, and their pool out back. I realize these photos won't mean a lot to anyone who doedn't know them, but I wanted to put them into my blog, anyway. Click to enlarge.





15 comments:

erin said...

beautiful pris. i think that the things that matter to you are the things that matter here. she is beautiful, and she looks well loved. my grandma is in the early stages of the disease... last week she lost the vcr... had no idea what it was, or that she knew how to use it. it is sad... very sad indeed. i send your mother in law my blessings.

Ellen M Johns said...

Glad you made the visit Pris and sorry to hear this news.

Of all the pictures I've seen in a long, long time, the "kiss" picture sums up the meaning of the phrase "true love" and the commitment to the vows made in marriage.

Pris said...

Erin
I'm just so grateful that she remarried before this illness progressed, since her husband does love her deeply and takes care of her so very well. Of course my husband and I love her, as does his sister and her husband, but none of us are in a position for either health reasons, financial reasons, work, space etc to have taken her in and cared for her so well.

Pris said...

Hi Ellen
You popped up while I was typing to Erin. I just printed out two large copies of that photo. One for them and one for us. Yes, isn't it a wonderful moment captured??

Pat Paulk said...

Pris, there are no better moments on this side of life. Thanks for sharing your family with us!

Pris said...

Thanks, Pat. I'm glad you enjoyed these.

Lyle Daggett said...

Pris, just coming by -- thanks very much for posting this. As sad and difficult as it has to be. Wonderful pictures.

Pris said...

Hi Lyle
Yes, it is sad. I find that most of all I miss being able to tell her important things and vice-versa.

burning moon said...

I'm so glad you posted these pictures Pris. It did my heart good to see them.
You all look like such nice people, it's reassuring to see good family relationships and know that it's still possible to find that in the world.

So much of what we see and hear around us is focused on the negative side of these things.

Pris said...

So very true!

Berenice said...

I'm glad you got to go Pris. That time spent with your mother in law is precious.

Pris said...

I know. And she could still communicate simple things with a struggle and some guessing on our part and her husband's of choices of the end of her sentence for her to pick from.

J.B. Rowell said...

Sad but a lovely love story - thanks for sharing this Pris.
julia

SarahJane said...

sheesh, she looks like a lovely lady. she is lucky to have a husband and family who love her. you can see that in the pictures. smile

Pris said...

Oh yes. She's indeed well loved!