Strength and Courage

Memory…is the diary we all carry around with us.

-Oscar Wilde

Back in New Jersey this week. Happy to hear the wind in the trees. The sound is soft and shuffling. In Florida, the wind in the palm trees sounds like ocean waves gently caressing the beach. There’s an abundance of greenery and woods around my mom’s house where we are visiting with her.

Mom turned 90 in June and because of the virus, we were unable to get to New Jersey to be with her. Sadly, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease this week. And, so virus or not we flew from Florida to New Jersey.

Having dinner with Mom

Mom’s beginning to show the first signs in the evening (what doctors call sun downing). We are trying to create a peaceful, calm environment each night after dinner. When it’s time to go to bed, I lay down with her for a while. And, that’s when my mom is the best. We talk about her parents and our lives. My mom is from County Mayo, Ireland, the setting for my County Mayo mystery series. Mom tells me she is afraid. She hears voices. The voices say the names of her family, her siblings (all have passed away). I tell her that she doesn’t have to afraid. I am here. I tell her that the voices will pass in a minute. We’ve decided to call the voices a bubble. And the bubble will burst shortly and she won’t be afraid. So when she starts hearing the voices, I say I think that is the bubble. And we brush the bubble away. We agreed that we are going to try to get into what I call a “grooving groove”. I want to care for my mom. I hope I have the strength and courage to get through this time. That we will be in a grooving groove for a while yet.

I’m sure some of you are caring for a parent or a loved one who is experiencing this disease. I’m scared; not like my mom is scared. I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes to care for her and Bill. But, we are going to try. I’m going to draw on my deep Irish roots. So, tomorrow morning before Bill and my mom get up, I will stand outside for a while and listen to the wind. Then I’ll take a deep breath and go back inside to jump into the grooving groove.

Photo by Steven Hylands on Pexels.com

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