…how difficult and distorted and cruel life can be at times, and how some of that is my fault.
Most know that Umi (my mother–yes, I have to remind you now and then) has the beginning stages of dementia, or as we like to call it, demential (thanks for the typo, Zia). It helps to joke about it because if you’re familiar at all with dementia, you know how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be when things start fading from your mind or the mind of someone you love.
Umi forgets things…a lot. Not as often as my grandmother did…yet, but I’ve learned to not argue about memories that differ from my own. There’s really no point. It’s not going to change her memory to the correct one. So you’d think I’d be more understanding when she locks herself out of the house and has to call me at work because she’s locked herself out of the house. There’s a Post-It note on the door specifically for this reason and it is at her eye level. She even admits that she sees it every time she opens the door. And yet, she walked right out the door without her keys and locked the door behind her. She’s locked herself out probably about six times in the past year.
Did I mention frustration?
I was a horrible daughter last Thursday. I made my mother cry. I knew that before I even walked out of the building to head home to let her back in and I felt like complete shit the whole way home. And the whole way back to work. Why I was frustrated doesn’t even matter, and it really had little to do with this particular incident. I’m afraid that she’s going to forget where she lives one of these days and it’ll be a story on the news. It scares the ever-living hell out of me to think that that could be the future. So while my frustration stems from a place of fear for my mother’s well-being, it gives me no right to snap at her for forgetting to grab her keys.
I apologized before I went back to work, told her I loved her, and on the way home from Princess the Chihuahua’s vet appointment later that afternoon, I bought her ice cream and Arby’s. It’s nowhere near enough. Losing thirty minutes of my time at work is nothing compared to losing my mom. Nothing.