Sunday, November 2, 2008

addle AD-'l, verb, to make or become muddled or confused

This is my biggest fear in life - to become muddled or confused. As many of you know, my mother had Alzheimer's at a fairly young age. It started off slowly, around the time Nate was born, forgetting something here and there. At the end, she had no idea who I , or who anyone else was, really. (Except our dog Cinnamon. I SWEAR she always knew who Cinnamon was by name. I was often "Hey, you" but that dog was "Cinnamon" til the very end. ) I'm a bit stoic by nature. I tried to roll with it. It was easier sometimes than others. Sometimes I tried to deal with it through humor - I mean, she really was a very comedic person with a great sense of humor, always. You know how we have those internal filters that allow us to think things but not say them? Well the Alzheimer's took alot of those filters away - so often she said things that NOONE would ever say. I admit, it gave me a chuckle now and again. Kind of like hearing the innocence of youth when outrageous things escape their lips. Other times I felt, and still feel, sorry for myself. Alot of those moments in life when you so badly need your mother - I didn't get alot of those in my adult life. Most of my children were born without her really fully understanding to whom these babies belonged. For me, I fear that I myself am addled - that I have forgotten all of the good times with my mother and can only remember the dark days. But the light in that darkness: just before she died, literally hours before, she looked at me with a clarity that I had not seen in years and said "You are so beautiful" and I know she knew who I was and I knew she meant it. And that, as she lay dying, was her gift to me.