One of my dearest friend's dad has Parkinson's. Another close friend's mom has just started the awful Alzheimer's decline.
It is everywere. It is affecting everyone. It's hard to ask for help. You feel like you've failed somehow. This should just be part of the drill - as mom would say: "Just keep on keeping on!" For so many years she never complained. It just wasn't her nature to even talk about pain, or strange changes in her capacity. Of course by the time I tried to have the conversation about any of it, she was deep into her own ingrained denial. There would be no reckoning. No heart to heart where at least we could commiserate and plan for the worst.
And so it goes. Help comes along the way, just as you are sinking. You get so tired of yourself and the heaviness of it all. And then the love buoys you. Someone reminds you. The full moon brings you back to beauty (Thank you Caroline). It is the worst. It sucks. But it is beyond profound and good in its subtle gifts. You can't just "keep on keeping on." Dementia taxes every morsel of goodness, patience, strength, kindness, and joy you have. Replacing a hip? easy. Physical pain? Easy. Madness, and it really is that, is a tricky beast.
Mom, completely bundled up this morning.... December chill.
And then, just waking up, mom said: "I love you very very very much, and I wouldn't go any other way than the way we're going now."