A sad, yet funny conversation with my mom:
My mom called me the other day. Here is why I don’t always answer the phone:
“Mary, I was looking at my numbers in my address book and saw the number for Mary and Eric Snustad, and I thought, that SNEEK…she went and got married and didn’t even tell us!”
“Why didn’t you tell dad and I that you got married? Did you elope?”
She has no memory of me marrying Eric almost 14 years ago.
So, I proceed to take a deep, deep breath and calmly, yet, gently explain that Eric and I have been married for almost 14 years, and that we did not elope. I tell her all about the many details of our wedding, hoping to refresh her memory of our very special day.
It can be very difficult to repeatedly have these types of conversations, yet it helps tremendously to try have a sense of humor. My husband and I chuckle about how awesome it was when we eloped (we actually had a church wedding).
I bought her a teddy bear a few days ago. She absolutely loved it. It is interesting how the more forgetful she gets, the more small comfort items like this seem to make her happy.
I remember the same thing happening with my grandma. During the last few years during her journey with dementia, I would also bring her stuffed animals. There are so many times where I am with mom, and it’s like being with Nana again. They look alike, sound alike, and are both ending their lives in very similar ways with dementia. Talk about “history repeating itself”, and only about 10 years later.
Last week she left a completely heart-wrenching message, that left me broken hearted.
“Mary, I can’t remember anything…my memory is going…please just call me, so that I know who I am…so that I know I have family and that I am not alone. I don’t know what to do.”
I rely heavily on my faith to get me through. The grace of God carries me…through going to mass a couple times a week & receiving Him in the Eucharist. Confession is also very cleansing and helpful to feel his love in a much more tangible way. After participating in these sacraments, I have no doubt of the power of God’s mercy and grace. His love and strength is almost palpable…giving me a warm peaceful feeling. When celebrating the love of Christ with our church “family”, I no longer feel so alone.
It strengthens me and gives me hope to live a joyful life, even amidst this long journey of heartache and pain of loss. I offer most of my masses for mom, or those who are suffering with similar illnesses. The redemptive power of prayer and sacrifice is at the core of the Catholic faith, and those prayers can go a long, long way….