I'm a big fan of the TV show This Is Us, which is in its last season. One of the main characters has Alzheimer's. Spoiler alert: I discuss below some plot details from the latest episode.
In addition to that, I am currently listening to a podcast talking about Casey Kasem, who suffered from Lewy body dementia.
Both of these things have brought up memories of my own mom, who suffered dementia the last years of her life. It is sometimes painful to revisit those days. That was an incredibly stressful time.
In the episode of This Is Us that I watched last night, Rebecca, the matriarch of the Pearson family and the one who has Alzheimer's, happens to be having a rough day as far as her dementia is concerned. She is supposed to perform a song for her daughter's wedding, and her family is not sure she will be up to it.
But perform it she does and does beautifully so. But as her family is watching their mother in a state where she is slowly disappearing and becoming someone different than the woman they have known and contrasting that with this lucid moment, of course, brings tears to their eyes.
I recognize these feelings well. Watching my mom slowly forget so much and devolve into a childlike state where she was unable to care for herself or make certain decisions was incredibly hard to watch and navigate, especially since she had been such an independent person her whole life (and still remained so even though much of that independence had to be taken away to keep her and others safe).
The conjuring up of these memories made me miss Mom so much, both who she was and who she became.
It's interesting how when our lives start, our parents parent us, but as our parents get older, we end up parenting them. In her last years, Mom became like a child, and it was hard to both see her become that way and become her caretaker.
There were a lot of scary and unpleasant things that came with dementia, but I also have some funny and cute memories of that time.
I sure miss Mom. I look forward to seeing her again some day.