Mom and I weren’t cut from the same cloth and we lacked an inherent understanding of one another. Our relationship presented us with many challenges to overcome and being adopted was just one of them. The passing of time (years) would allow me the opportunity to gain some insight into our vastly different ways of viewing the world. Ultimately gaining wisdom peppered with a bit of grace.
I witnessed my Grandma suffer from dementia for many years and my mother’s refusal to have cognitive testing performed by her doctor wasn’t from the perceived stubbornness but an attempt to delay the inevitable news she’d feared for so long. The Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The MRI confirmed her fear, it was two different forms of dementia.
One fateful summer afternoon the situation presented itself. While driving to a local destination, Mom ‘got turned around’ for about 3 hours. She then left her car (running) in the middle of the roadway and went into a restaurant asking to use their phone to call a friend. The helpful employee searched Mom’s purse, found her cell phone, retrieved the friends’ number and called for help.
After the dust had settled and mom’s condition couldn’t be hidden anymore we became proactive and removed her car keys. Knowing that the hardest loss of freedom is the car, I left it parked in her garage until she had adjusted to the limitation or forgot about it altogether. It seemed to help her.
Our roles started to reverse, she needed me for daily tasks and I was a mere 40-minute car ride away.
… to be continued