Last weekend, I went to NY to visit my parents. It was really nice to see my Mom. I have found myself to be extremely tired following visits with Mom. I realize how emotionally exhausting it is to see her, not completely in a bad way, in some ways good, but overall very overwhelming.
My mom has been living with Alzheimer’s for the past couple years, and just recently has moved into a care facility. Due to the pandemic, this is actually the first time I was allowed in the home. It’s much different than the one that I used to visit my grandpa at as a child. It’s very social, as they keep bedroom doors shut during the day and encourage everyone to be with each other. I think that’s so important.
I visited both days. On Saturday when I came in, she was sitting up on the couch with other people. On Sunday, she was washing her hands in the kitchen area and she was very focused to the point that I thought she was cooking something for a moment. I went out with her both days to drive around in the car and go on nature walks.
Seeing her, I feel so many strong emotions, and like I said it’s not all bad. Of course it is sad, upsetting, and certainly strange and confusing. But it’s also this incredible amount of love I have for her that suddenly pours in. Part of her is gone, but the part that remains is so important. Suddenly I feel blessed to be able to look her in the eyes and hold her hand. She is here. She is still here.
When I was younger my mom always wanted to cuddle, she is a very physically affectionate person — and that always made me super uncomfortable. And I would wipe off all her kisses and refuse to let her hold me. But now I want to hold her hand all the time, never let it go. Give her lots of hugs. Rub her back. Squeeze her tight.
It’s very intense emotions. Again, I keep saying it’s good and bad. And I’d rather not dwell on either. I come back and just want to numb my emotions because it takes a physical tole on my body. I could try to drink all the feelings away or turn to other bad habits. But instead I am journaling, I am writing my feelings, I am resting, stretching my muscles, and drinking tea. Just breathing through it. But it is A LOT!
I love my mom so much and it’s hard and scary to love a person that much. I can’t believe I was born to such a wonderful person. She really is the best, in my eyes. I’m extremely overwhelmed by the amount of love I have for her. I’m distraught that I have to watch her slip away. But being able to look at her, touch her, walk with her, it’s powerful.