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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Hate This Disease!

Mom received more Christmas cards today. One from my brother, Bob and his wife, one from my daughter, Angel and her family, one from Ardis, and one from Gale our GLO member. Thank you, Gale, Mom thought it was nice of you to send a card to someone you don’t know. :) Mom knew Angel and Tim but couldn’t remember Katie’s name even though it was on the card, she wasn’t sure who the other cards were from, so I went through the conversation again.

I watched her go through all the cards again today and she opened the new ones. She doesn’t bother to read them; she just looks to see who they are from and puts them down. I asked her if she knew what the cards were for and she said, “no.” When I told her they were Christmas cards, she said, “oh.” She does not even understand what Christmas is at this point. I knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier. That's why I wanted everyone to come for Christmas two years ago.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have lost their loved ones and are going through a difficult time during this holiday season. I’ve lit a candle for all of you and also for those who are still caring and especially Cinnamin and her family who are so close to the end. Hugs to you all. Please know that I’m thinking of you.

Have I said I hate Alzheimer’s? I’m sure I have, at least a thousand times.


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Blogger Lori1955 said...

I'm hating this disease right along with you. Last year was the first time that Helen didn't know it was Christmas and now this year she is gone.

It's strange that they forget Christmas when it has been a part of their whole lives. I know this causes you a lot of pain my friend and I am so sorry. Her memories may be gone but you can still make memories with her for yourself.

12/14/2007 7:40 PM  
Blogger Cinnamin said...

Joanne, DITTO! I hate it too!

I think that it is sweet that your Mom takes an interest in the cards coming in. I sure remember having the SAME conversation, over and over and over trying to explain something to Mom. Funny, at this point, I kind of wish I were still having to do that. My Mom has been receiving Christmas cards as well. I DO read her all of her mail, but I have no idea if she realizes at this point what I am reading or even saying to her, but I want to believe that she hears me. Thanks so much for lighting your candle for Mom as well. She is resting. We are waiting. The name of ALZ, waiting for the unknown...The Twilight Zone...I hate this disease!

12/15/2007 5:13 AM  
Blogger dave said...

It is the insidious way it works, that is getting my goat right now. We used to be able to talk or even yell at each other if we had a disagreement, now all of tht is all so useless.
Most of all I miss her mind.

12/15/2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

your description of your mom is what it was like last year with russ and christmas. just looking at the cards and then putting them down without a word. i always wondered what must be going through his mind, if anything at all. so sad...

i too HATE this disease!

12/15/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Lori, you're so right about that. I have been trying to make memories with her that I'll be able to keep in my heart forever. I have so many wonderful memories already.

Cin, I know what you mean. I know there will be a time when I will wish I were repeating things. I read Mom's mail, letters from frieinds, and cards to her, too. She's not grasping much anymore, but I still read to her.

I hear you, Dave. Conversations just aren't what they used to be. :(

Nancy, I wonder too what she thinks of. When I ask her, she says nothing, but I'd like to think there is some thought in her mind.

12/15/2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger ~Betsy said...

I think there are lots of things still going on in our LO's minds, but I think the words get lost before they can be said. I fully believe they appreciate all the extra time you take to read their cards to them and they know how much they are loved. Stay strong.

12/16/2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

I believe that too, Betsy. Mom has been stumbling for words all week. She just can't seem to say what's on her mind. Butterfly came out as bow today. When I looked at the picture she colored, I thought, she's right...the butterfly did look almost like a bow. :)

12/16/2007 8:17 PM