The clock went off in my head at 4 am this morning. Its calendar does not include holidays.
I’m sitting on the bedroom floor while Dee Dee sleeps. I like writing here. I can feel her next to me. I’m incredibly blessed to have this woman in my life. Her love is an undeserved, unexpected gift. It’s our first Thanksgiving being married. In a few days, we’ll be moving into a new house. We are blessed by God.
With everything I’ve been given, today is about my mom.
Later this afternoon, I’ll drive the few blocks to Hickory Creek where she lives. She’ll get in a car for the first time in six months. She’ll wonder where she is going. She’ll imagine our destination is somewhere buried in her past. We won’t be going to our house on Reynolds Drive. We won’t be going to see my grandma. My dad will not be anywhere to be found.
I don’t want her there today. Her caregivers are wonderful. Taking her from there is not about them. It’s about Mom and me. She needs to be with family in a house. I admit it; today is about me. It feels selfish. I try to justify it as loving.
Alzheimer’s will make her pay. She’ll be thrown into a whirlwind. Her brain doesn’t allow her to process anything new. That’s the horrid nature of this wolf prowling about in our lives. He howls at me. His breath stinks, as he snarls, “You can’t take her home. She’ll not do well. You’re selfish. You are sacrificing your own mother just so you get what you want.”
I tell him to shut up and I hate him. But, he wins. I decide I’ll go eat with her there in the dining room.
He laughs at me, now. I hear him whisper, “See, you’ll go up there for an hour and spend a little time with her. Then, you’ll go home to your comfortable surroundings. You’ll leave your own mother in a building while you stuff your face and watch football.”
Now, I’m committed to bring her home.
For weeks, I’ve been torn apart by the blood dripping fangs of this beast, which toys with my heart and soul. He plays viciously with my mind. He has made sure I cannot ask Mom what she’d like to do. It’s all on me. I hate him more!
There is no negotiation with the wolf. I turn to God and offer my deal – “Father, let me take this pain. You can have my mind. You can have all the things I take for granted.”
God whispers, “Hush, my son, I’ve got your mom in my hands. I love her more than you.”
I sit on the porch and say, “She’ll come home with me. It’s decided.”
Even in the peace, I hear the wolf mock me. I hear him laughing. He walks past our house and heads back up the hill to Mom’s bed. He lies curled up there. When sanity or clarity tries to creep in, he draws back his lip to expose his teeth. He growls from deep inside the pit of hell which is his belly.
Once again, Alzheimer’s has knocked me to the ground; kicked me repeatedly and left me wincing in pain. The whirlwind consumes anyone who stands too close.
I want to see life back in her eyes, again. I want to feel her love for me. I want her to know mine for her. Simply, I want my mom back.
For a few moments today, she’ll be back in my home. It won’t be the same, but it’ll be good, so good. It’ll be Thanksgiving good!
The wolf will not win, today. Not today!