Alzheimers doesn’t take big things away, it takes very small things that don’t seem all that important until you string them together; it’s a disease that seems to ‘cut the dog’s tail off one inch at a time’…which is just cruel and malicious if you ask me.
She only remembers one phone number out of the dozens that she memorized over the years. She doesn’t realize that she has already asked me that questions 3 times – in the past hour or that she just called me by her youngest daughter’s name. She has no idea how long she was married, or how many grandkids she has or if she still has that pink shirt or how to use the buttons on the tv remote. It’s all just lost.
Alzheimers takes away very small things.
Every single day, some part of her brain walks off into the sunset and waves good bye. She doesn’t realize this is happening. She doesn’t know that there is a dark shadow creeping through her skull wiping away important information. Her mind tells her over and over again that she is perfectly fine.
In a way this is a big blessing. She still knows who everybody is, she knows how to laugh and she knows where the bathroom is and how to eat a McDonald’s ice cream cone. She listens to the news with Pop at 6 o’clock every evening and always comments on the things they show. She tells me that life was upside down back in her day too, and that all the countries got together and fought to put things right again. She makes me feel hopeful.
I’m glad she isn’t aware of the tears I shed whenever I leave. I want to hold her in my arms and never let go of her. I want to keep every piece of her close to me so I can protect her from the horrors of Alzheimers. But it is an unpredictable, evil thief that chips away piece by little piece of every one of its unsuspecting victims and is never satisfied until there’s nothing left to take.
Fuck you Alzheimers.
Fuck you and the train you came in on.