Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Whether I want to or not, I find myself reflecting on what has happened to me and to the world during 2008. I'll leave it to the pundits and mavens to analyze the state of the world in 2008. I suspect only I know, though, what changes 2008 has brought to my elderly mother.
My mother has Alzheimer's disease and lives in a nearby assisted living facility. She depends on me to help her deal with the consequences of the disease--her finances, her health decisions, even her interactions with other family members. I promised her years ago that I would be with her to the end and I wouldn't have it any other way. Her disease seems to be progressing rapidly. She didn't recognize or remember my daughter when she visited for Christmas this year. She no longer remembers her late husband to whom she was married for 58 years. At one time she lived from day to day. Now it is minute to minute. Within minutes of leaving the dining room, she doesn't remember having eaten.
So 2008 is making a quick exit. When I remember this year in the future, I think I will remember the times with my mother when she was at her most lucid--when we could look at a family photo album and I could tell her all of the family stories she used to tell me but no longer remembers at all. She laughs at stories of the family's antics, including her own, as if it were the first time she heard them.
While I'll be happy to leave 2008 behind, it is the memory of those times of laughter with my mother that I want to carry with me into the new year.