Tag Archives: blessings

The Clock is Running Down

6 Jul

Oh, how I wish I could wind the clock and help it to keep ticking.  Unfortunately, this clock does not come with a key, weights to pull, pendulum to swing, or a battery to replace to bring it back to life.  This particular clock is running down fast.

I feel Ernie’s time is coming sooner than later.  Yesterday, I felt it more than I ever did.  The change in his health is significant and has come on so rapidly — just as the Care Managers warned.  I didn’t want to believe that this day would come, but it is upon us.  I saw it with my own eyes, felt it in my heart, and heard it from my inner voice.  I saw it in Ernie’s eyes and felt it in his actions, as well.  Now, more than ever, I realize that each ticking moment counts.

My Ernie looked much like a little wounded bird when I arrived.  I saw him standing with a hunched posture, looking extremely thin and  leaning against a door — gazing into the family room of the Memory Care unit.  It was as if he wasn’t sure where he was going, why he was standing there or how he got there.  But, blessed as we are, he knew me when I walked up and put my arm through his arm and lead him to a quiet place for the two of us to sit and be together.   He sat down in a comfortable chair as I sat facing him on the ottoman.   Ernie suddenly surprised me when he pulled my face into his hands and gave me a tender kiss. We held hands and he quietly mumbled some words to me.  He didn’t giggle or smile like he always did but he knew I was there with him.  He focused on me for short moments and then looked off into an unknown space.

I realized, at that moment, that my Ernie is tired — I don’t mean from his lack of sleep, either.  He is tired of fighting the terrible monster of Alzheimer’s Disease.   This was the first time I felt his readiness to give up the fight.  My courageous, strong, wise, yet Gentle Giant looked so frail, exhausted and lost.  I laid my head down on his knees and gently squeezed his hands while he drifted off to sleep. I was afraid to let go.   I quietly but deeply began to weep  with my head in his lap.  This cry was the deepest cry I have had in a long time. Although terribly sad,  I felt safe being next to him and I knew that he felt safe with me.  Ernie was always the rock of strength in our relationship.  Now, I am his rock.  These are our precious moments together and I feel blessed that, in this space of time, the chime is weaker but the clock is still ticking.

 It is so challenging  for me to see such a proud, dignified gentleman wind down.  And I know it is the way of things ahead — for as long as it is meant to be. I keep saying my prayer thanking God for yesterday and today and knowing that, together, He and I will deal with tomorrow when it comes.  I am not sure when Ernie’s pendulum will stop and his last chime will ring but I know I’ll be there the best I can for every last stroke.

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The Title of “Mother”

13 May

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers reading this.  I cannot think of anything that has meant more to me than being a mother…

I awoke this morning feeling a little down.  With my mother gone for 8 years, my husband now in a facility, and my daughter thousands of miles away, it just seemed lonesome.  I am most grateful for having had a great relationship with my mom and having my husband and daughter, although not home, still a part of my life, however.  I am also grateful for my little cat who reached out and touched my chin this morning as if to say, Happy Mother’s Day!

I miss my mother, of course.  I think of her all of the time and wish I could pick up the phone and chat with her to feel her love and support — especially through these challenging Alzheimer years.  I have her picture in a special place today and have both my daughter and my husband’s picture displayed with it.

My daughter now has her own life with a wonderful husband.  I am so happy that they have each other but do miss having them closer in proximity.  Our communication is mostly through email, texts and occasional phone chats.  I treasure them, of course, but realize my role is not as prominent now that her life has an energy of its own.  I know, however, that a mother’s love goes on forever and being her mother — whether near or far — is still the greatest blessing I have in my life!

I also realize that, with Alzheimer’s, I have become a mother to my husband who now looks to me for everything — just like children do with their mothers. I know how much he depends on me.  He occasionally calls me “Mother” upon which I quickly correct him.   I don’t want to think of myself as his mother.  His mother only deserves that honor and, as his wife, it just doesn’t feel right!  I prefer, instead, the name he calls me when talking to others as, “his lady.” Whether he remembers my given name or not,  I am not his mother and take pride in being his lady.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I enjoy memories about my mother and the joyful moments of celebrating Mother’s Day with my daughter via telephone many miles away.   And as far as my husband with Alzheimer’s, I continue to see my role as a loving wife, care-partner, and his lady.