She has forgotten how to use the bathroom, she has forgotten how to put on her clothes, sometimes she has forgotten how to walk and worst, at times, she has even forgotten that I am her very own son.
The doctors all said that this is a condition that is irreversible — which means we have to learn to deal with it. I had just returned from a trip in India where I was helping a film crew with the production of a Hollywood movie.
In my line of work, I tend to travel out of the country a lot to film movies in some of the most exotic locations in the world — which means I don’t get to spend too much time at home.
When I returned from my 6 months work in India, I’ve discovered that my mom wasn’t the same as before. It started with the littlest things like how she would forget where she put her car keys and my sister and I would pass it off as just her being forgetful. But, then we’ve noticed it’s getting worse and worse when she took a long time to dress up. And that was when we realized that she had forgotten how to wear her clothes.
She has forgotten how to take care of herself.
We could go to the grocery store to get some groceries and she would walk out on the street without us and just sit in a park nearby -- not knowing why she was there in the first place. We would then spend hours with the police and authorities trying to search for her.
My sister and I didn’t mind the extra work to take care of her… After all, she is our mom. The one and only mom who brought us up by herself and made us who we are. But the struggle of being with my mom who I remember in my mind and the current her, that was like a whole new person to me, is very painful.
She was a very fun person, she loved to tell us a lot of stories even when we’ve grown up, she still told us stories from her adventurous youth. In the past - she always tell us story of the war, the elections, her past and her parents whom emigrated from Scotland.
I hate how I have to refer to her in the past tense as if she’s not here anymore. Ever since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she has never told us any stories anymore. In fact, there are times when we were talking — she would just, out of a sudden, ask me and my sister who we are. That was the worst part of all, having your mom, forgot who you are even though you’ve been with her for almost 25 years.
On her worst day, she would even go as far as accusing us as trespassers and I’ve lost count on how many times she threatened to call police and a few times she did, it was very problematic to deal with.
But the worst thing is when it all came back to her, that she just accused her own children of being trespassers and I felt like my heart crippled at the sight. And both of us needed to be strong for her so we swallowed our sadness and reassured her that it’s okay, we’re okay, you’re okay and that’s all that matters.
It was painful to watch my mom go through this — and it was even worse to see my sister crying alone every single evening while trying to hide the pain from us.
One thing for sure, we both loved our mom very much.