Monday, August 12, 2013

Heard from Jennifer lately?

For those of you that don't know, I'm in the middle of a move. The movers came & packed us the end of last week, but we don't close on our new house until the end of this week. Who wants to spend a week in a hotel with 2 young kids?!  So, for the week in-between, my kids & I came to the beach to spend some time with my sister & brother-in-law.  I asked my dad if he & my mom would come down as well so we could spend some time with them as well before our big move (we'll be a little over 6 hours from them).  They came down & we've all been together since last Thursday afternoon. 

I have to be honest, it's been hard seeing my mom this week. Don't misunderstand me; I love seeing my mom, & for 90% of the time this week, she's been happy & in a great mood. But, she's slipping farther & farther away from us.  This week, I'm a friend from high school, not her daughter. The same thing goes for my sister Lisa & brother-in-law Tom. We've been "reminiscing" all weekend. She's constantly saying things like, "gosh, I'm so glad we're all back together", or " remember when we use to do this in high school?", no matter what the activity is. I've found myself having to say "Mary" a lot more to get her attention rather than the normal "mom" or "nana", which even if it's a day I'm not her daughter, she's always responded to.  My heart breaks most for my dad. I can't imagine what he feels when she looks at him & saids, "well, where are you living now?", or as she said a few days ago, "well I married somebody else." when we were discussing the family that she has right now. 

Here is the conversation we had this afternoon after I came down from putting my kids down for a nap:

Mary: "Have you heard from Jennifer lately?". ( FYI - I'm Jennifer!)
Me:  "I actually just talked to her."
Mary:  " How's she doing?  I think she's moving again.". (she remembered that I'm moving!)
Me:  "she's good, you know with her 2 kids she stays pretty busy. She's coming down to see us here really soon." 
Mary:  "well, good. It's about time. But she's moving & she takes forever to pick out a house." (what?! What does that mean. Lol!  I'm a pro at house hunting)
Me: (defending my house hunting skills) "well, she had to look at school districts this time because Sadie is starting Kindergarten & this move is further away, so I think it took a little longer than in the past."
We kept exchanging small talk about Jennifer for a few more minutes until Sadie came down from her rest time for a snack, then it was on to something else. 

I know some of you are thinking right now, "why didn't you just tell her you are Jennifer?". If I did that, I risk making her feel very confused, stupid, or she could get angry at me. There was no harm done just playing out the conversation even though it was very difficult. I was chuckling inside, bc after all, it's weird talking about yourself in the 3rd person, but here was my own mother asking me about myself. I'm still not sure who she thought I was during the conversation. 

Now, here's a good laugh for you: tonight, we went out for ice-cream. Mom's favorite is peppermint, but it's only seasonal around Christmas. As she was eating hers she wondered outload if "they had peppermint in the wintertime". Lisa & I said we would all have to come back & check. Lisa added that we could maybe come back for her birthday since it was during that time, but that she couldn't remember the exact day. To our surprise, mom said her birthdate!  I then asked if she was going to be 21?  She automatically agreed, then it clicked a few seconds later & she laughed!  Lisa said you're only as old as you feel, to which mom replied with yep, at least I'm healthy.  (here's the funny part-) then she said, "and there's nothing wrong with my memory!". Bless her!  I almost spit ice-cream in her face, lol. 

I'm glad she's in a place where she doesn't realize anymore, because when she knew she was losing her memory, she was in turmoil.  But with that comes losing her more & more moment by moment it seems.  And now, here I am, moving from 3 hours away to 6 hours away from her, as she's slipping further & further away faster & faster.  All I can do is ask for prayers friends, & be thankful for my Skype!