Yes. I’m back. Yes. Again. I know, you may be wondering, “Doesn’t a blogger have to blog to be a blogger?” I would tend to agree. Have I really felt like blogging since my last post? Not especially. Have I wanted to let ‘The Bedlam’ go altogether? No. Not for a second. But in May the bottom dropped out of my life and I was rendered useless in the face of what I was confronting. I did my best to keep my other social media outlets going but blogging just became an impossible priority.
Some of you may recall that my mom had been dealing with, what we believed to be, Alzheimer’s symptoms for a while now. But try as we might to get her to seek medical attention, for any reason, she steadfastly refused. We watched as it slowly crept in here and there. It was enough to cause us concern and worry but not so much that we couldn’t deceive ourselves into believing that we had more time. Whatever that meant, anyway? And in May things went from blips on the radar to full blown alarm bells. We were confronted with the absolute reality that the force to be reckoned with that has been my mom, our own little Titanic, had indeed started sinking.
After an episode where my mom had wandered off to the neighbors’ house and refused to go back home, my dad felt helpless and called the police for assistance. They sent the sheriff out and after a long conversation made the determination that my mom had to go to the hospital. While she resisted getting into the ambulance that had been called, the neighbors, who had since returned home, helped reassure her that they were just there to help her. Several hours later after assessments from medical doctors and a social worker I received the news that my mom would never be able to go home again. Ever. She would need to be placed in a secure memory care facility permanently. Just writing that puts a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes. Life as I’d known it was over and I’d been tasked with, during what has already been a pretty miserable year, adapting to and accepting a new normal.
I have learned an enormous amount in the last four months. Tear ducts are remarkably resilient and can handle vast amounts of usage. How mine aren’t broken or dried up at this point is completely beyond me. With no prior knowledge or experience, and in the wake of my greatest life turmoil, I traversed through medical and legal territory that should earn me some kind of serious merit badge or résumé fodder. You can function on an unbelievable lack of sleep. Not necessarily well or comfortably but still functioning. (Parents of newborns? Though for different reasons, I feel ya.) People can be incredibly kind. Incredibly. Kind. Sadly, people can also be astonishingly insensitive, dismissive, and self-serving. Fortunately, and thankfully, they represent a very small percentage overall. The smallest words of support mean so much. Never have I experienced the depths of meaning that simple words can possess. I now know the vast and varied ways that people grieve and process deep emotional pain. I’ve seen the dark fury of my own emotional depths and been graced with the forgiveness to see me through to the other side. When people talk about being stronger than you think, believe them. It’s truer than I would ever have considered. I am capable of much more than I’d ever given myself credit for. I’ve learned that no one in this world will ever hold my heart the way my mom does. And I’ve learned, despite my doubts in the past, that I will be able to survive without her when that unfathomable day should arrive.
The other thing one learns? Life goes on. You may not want it to and desperately want to pull the emergency break just long enough to pretend that none of this is happening. You can fight the locomotive force of the future's pull and try to stay at the station of what used to be. But it’s no use since forward is our only choice, really. And so here I am. Again. Different than I used to be as I know I’m not the same person as I was before. There’s no sense in trying to describe the difference, the feeling, as words would simply fail with the subtle complexities of transformation that have come about. But their palpable presence is strong and certain. And I know there is more self-discovery to come. Just as there is still more to come here.
Thank you, dear readers, for your patience and continued support. It means the world to me. Truly.