Mr. Alz Launches a Blizzard


Saturday when I got to mom’s one of the aides was busy with her, helping her wash her hands.  I have to say from an ego standpoint, that the moment in each day when she figures out I have come to visit is a big one for me.  Normally, she will look intensely at me, I will say “hi, momma” and she will say “Cindy!! This is the best surprise ever.  You came at exactly the right time”.  With that kind of feedback, it is wonderful to be there each day.

Friday I did not make it over to see her.  We got tied up at the horse show and did not get back until late.  I could have gotten over there but I didn’t.  I was tired and worn out, but so what.

When mom turned away from the sink, there was none of the searching in her eyes.  I think she thought I was just another person that worked there. I told her who I was-still nothing.  She wasn’t tracking along with anything I was saying.  Old Mr. Alz was sending the snow deeply in her mind and I was not breaking through. 

I mentioned that Jim and Jay were coming after Thanksgiving.  She wanted to talk about the stain on her pants and how we should soak it best for it to come out in the wash.  Except I did not see a stain and I do her wash.  I was excited to tell her that three of her favorite people from the church in Denver had reached me (Elysee, Shirley and Adele) and wanted to call her.  I told her about their emails and promised to read them soon.  I got nothing from her.  She tried several times to get up from the wheelchair and go work on that imaginary stain.  I was afraid she would fall.

I brought out my best and most exciting thing-going out to dinner on Sunday after the horse show.  Nothing.  She said she needed to use the restroom.  Finally, I got her ready for dinner at the facility the best I could.  Even the little things like smelling her favorite perfume were not penetrating the storm that Mr. Alz had brought -not today.

I was heart-sick when I left her.  She had dutifully kissed me goodbye but it was empty like being forced to kiss that creepy relative when you are young.  I sent my girls a text message.

I blamed myself for not visiting the day before.  I was worried sick that I had seen the last of my mother, that I had lost the little pieces that were left.  The blizzard was storming hard around her brain taking the little she had left of memory and leaving this little shell.  I talked with Amber and she told me that probably there would be more days like this but still some days where she might know me. 

I know this is just my individual experience and so many have faced this before me.  I have lost my mother and grieved for her so many times as Mr. Alz has rained down on her. 

Yesterday, she was back to some degree, infinitely better than Saturday but not like the week before.  She recognized Lauren and called her by name.  It was a good day. 

I wish I could banish Mr. Alz and all his tricks.  I would give my mother peace of mind if only I could.  The best I can do now is ride out the storms by her side and try to keep her safe as I can.

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