I know it’s late, but I struggled to come up with the words to write about momma. She’s 94 and in a nursing home. We’d like to think she knows us, but I have my doubts.
I would hate to lose my sight, hearing, or ability to walk—but to lose the ability to remember, to be unaware of my surroundings, and unable to converse, seems unbearable.
Many find themselves in terrible pain as they approach the end of life. Others completely immobilized. Often both come into play. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s a hard question to answer, but I do know this. Dementia, a cruel disease that first jumbles, then guts the mind of its memories and abilities, ranks near the top on my list.
As we travel this road with momma we’ve been encouraged, at times even amused, at what has endured the longest. Perhaps the next to the last to go was her sharp wit. Even as the disease ravaged her brain she would manage the occasional one liner. Those zingers became less frequent over time until they were gone.
The last thing to go was her ability to sing. Even a couple of years ago she could still sing most of the verses to lots of old church songs. This was a good 12 years into the disease. We counted it a great blessing that she still had at least something from within her memory bringing her joy.
The way she is now is not the way I want to remember this feisty, nervous, God-loving, woman. And, I will not. But I will remember singing together, conversations that found solutions to the world’s problems, and, most of all, a mother who loved me. Those memories will have to do, until the time comes when her bodily deterioration catches up with what has happened to her mind and she goes on to her eternal home.