Tuesday, August 16, 2011


She sleeps a lot these days. No more lunch dates at Louie's Charcoal Pit. Often, it is 4 PM before she fights to get out of bed. My sister and I will be on the phone with the doctor this morning to discuss whether it is the progression of her dementia, the medication, or depression. There is such profound sadness.

Her vision is almost gone. She always is complaining that she is unable to see. Any change in lighting is too much. She stares off into space as conversations take place around her, unable to either comprehend or to hear. And the joy of life has vanished.

She asks often where her mother and father are. She reports most days of spending time with her older sister, who passed away many years ago. She has lost her connection to virtually everything around her. Only Hiram's remains.

Hiram's is the hot dog restaurant that sits directly across the street from where she lives. This, among all the thousands of images that once took up space in her brain, somehow is intact. As we approach, she realizes that her day's journey is coming to an end. By the time I make the turn at the light, and enter her complex, the connection is already gone and she wonders where I am leaving her. Her aide takes her purse and helps her up, as she struggles mightily to get out of the car.

My daughter Alex, after recently spending time with my Mom, was shaken. "It was the first time that she had no idea of who I was. It made me cry". There was nothing I could say to help ease her pain.

I settle for the crumbs now as all the big pieces are lost... She likes the food that I cut up for her and put on her plate. She slept less fitfully last night. She perks up a little listening to the old time music, humming and swaying slightly. There is so little left, just the crumbs. And Hiram's.


Anonymous said...

Very poignant, very sad, very loving.

Anonymous said...

Very sad.. I wish you weren't all going through this... a sad ending to a wonderful life.. Tom's dad is entering this same phase... seems unfair..

Anonymous said...

beautiful...sad...tragic, really. At the same time, oddly funny that she would remember Hiram's. Our thoughts are with you and your family.