Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blog 64: It's a Hard Knock Life For Us

My sisters and I are drowning even deeper into the abyss.  It’s getting darker and darker as we sink even further down.  I see my sister Lynda's face as she disappears.   She looks scared.  I want to help her, but she’s gone.  She’s a child.  We are all children.  I feel cold and isolated, so alone.  I don’t know where my sisters are anymore.  They aren’t close to me.  Are they here?   I can’t see them.  I am scared.  I don’t see any light, only darkness.   I can’t breathe.  Terror takes over.  Who is going to save me?  Who is going to save us?

I wake up from this dream with a silent cry, full of despair.  A dream that has so many meanings.  My sisters and I are broken and it obviously is weighing heavily on my mind. We have lost all ability to communicate effectively after our Mom’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s three years ago.    Instead of going through a rough patch, as many families do during times like this, we have managed to rip apart at each other until we are left in shattered pieces. 

Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply. ~ Jane Austen

It’s the lack of communication that got us here, the fear and unwillingness to talk things over, even if we didn’t agree. I have tried to reconcile but they aren’t trying.  Ever since Alzheimer's made its hard knock at our door, everyone is just letting this disease and it’s ugly demons come in to destroy our family.  This has been the problem all along and nobody is doing anything to stop it. 

We only have one shot at life.  Just ONE.  Is this our destiny?  I don’t choose this.  I see other families that are close, sisters who are what we once were to each other.  It makes me long to have my sisters back.  We are missing out on so much, sharing important events in our lives, our kids’ lives, getting together for visits with Mom and sharing our thoughts and fears with each other.  That’s what sisters are for.   We don’t have that anymore.  I swear, I feel like I’m the only one who is troubled by this. 

                    Who understands much, forgives much. ~ Madame De Stael

What if, God forbid, something should happen to one of my sisters, or me, and we don’t fix this and mend the hurts before that happens?  Then we each live the rest of our lives with regrets.  No chance of ever going back and making things right, or showing how much we love each other.  It will be too late.  I don’t want regrets, and even though I have reached out to them and they aren’t reciprocating, I still will have regrets.   At least I know that I’ve tried.

     Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister.  ~ Alice Walker
  
Annie and I are the only ones who are talking now.  Texts with Lynda are sparse, I haven’t seen her or Kathy in a year and a half.  Renee and I stopped exchanging emails when they were causing more destruction to our relationship.  I did email her after my recent visit to see Mom and tell her she did a great job in finding this group home Mom is in now.  She didn’t write back.  It seems she only wrote when she had something to argue with me about.  Everyone is shutting each other out.  My daughter is getting married next spring and the only person to offer her congratulatory wishes was Annie.  This whole ordeal is affecting our kids.   Though some of the cousins are still keeping in communication with each other, they are feeling our pain, too.   They have their own pain as a result.

I think I come across as being a strong person, in control of my emotions.  I learned how to do that when I was young.  When I look back at things that happened after my parents divorced, I can see where that might have begun.  Without going into all of that, I just think that the responsibilities that weighed on my shoulders at such a young age, are the reasons for my strong front.  It is just a front though.  I feel every bit of pain and emotion that my sisters are feeling.  I am coming apart at the seams, just like they are.  I care, I understand, I feel.  I’m on an emotional downward spiral, too.  I have shared those feelings and emotions with them but I think they still see me as someone who doesn’t fall apart like they are, therefore I don't get to be included in their emotional whirl. 

             Sweet is the voice of a sister in the season of sorrow.  ~ Benjamin Disraeli

I worry about what’s going to happen when our mom passes away.  Are we even going to be able to comfort each other?  Is there going to be a fight?  God, I hope things get resolved before then.  Everyone is grieving the loss of our mom already.  We are emotionally preparing ourselves for the inevitable.  Even though she is still alive, she’s not with us like she was before.  We don’t have her to comfort us and make things all better.  Mom was our rock, our foundation, and the center of our universe.  We always knew that about her, but none of us really understood how profound of an influence she was in holding our family together, until she became ill with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and we had to face the fear of loosing her.  The decisions that had to be made, and the differences of opinions we had, are what separated us as a family.  Our sisterhood was shattered when the communication ceased.  If you Click here you can read a previous blog post to give you some insight as to what happened.  Blogs 27, 28, 29 and 30 are good ones to read about how things really fell apart with my sisters.  

It is a hard knock life for us right now, but we have to stay focused and try to look at the positives, even though that’s so very hard to do when dealing with this dreadful disease.  Our mom is still with us.  We have beautiful moments with her.  Oh yes, it hurts like hell to see her like this, but it happens to be the cards that she and we were dealt with, and we can’t do anything about that.  We have to hold on for dear life.  We have to embrace the time we have left with her, and the time we have left in this world with each other.  Life is a gift and one that you should never take for granted.   We only have one life on this Earth.  I want to live it well, with all of my family being a part of it.    

The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved…loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.   ~  Victor Hugo

1 comment:

  1. Millions of people across the world are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and it’s been nice to have read this article.

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