The Ugly, Scary Truth – A Deeper Family

My cousin, my mom’s ‘baby’ sister (she is 89), my mom and me, with my uncle’s two daughters reflected in the window behind us. We gathered for lunch last week to celebrate my uncle’s life. He died last month. He was in the middle of these two lovely ladies, and was 90 years old when he died. My mom is 91.

* * *

I am privileged to be writing at A Deeper Family today, my monthly, first-Thursday post. I’m writing about my mom’s journey through dementia and about how I’m discovering some pretty unattractive things about myself as we walk through it together. Please join me there today and share your own stories of difficult journeys:

She cannot hold it. It floats by, tantalizing, intriguing, possible. But she cannot hold it.

I watch her try to think and the picture that comes is this: the rotating rack in a dry cleaning establishment. You know the one. The attendant looks up your order, punches in the number and the clothes start moving, almost by magic, until they stop. The correctly numbered slot is right there in front, and the cashier picks up the hanger, hands it to you and says, “That will be $10.00, please.”

But for my mother, the right number hardly ever comes up. She punches those numbers for all she’s worth, but someone else’s clothes land in her lap. And she truly doesn’t know what to do with them.

Watching a person’s mind unravel is a sad and terrifying thing. She is so old now, so frail, and yet, there is evidence that somewhere in there, my mom still lives and breathes. Sadly, that evidence is sliding away on a daily basis and I often find myself unraveling right along with her. . .


You can read the rest by clicking on this sentence.

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  1. Read it over there, but commenting here. This is so absolutely right on. Thank you for your honesty. You are speaking to so many people with this.

    And you’re absolutely beautiful in that photo.

  2. Thank you, Megan – for reading and for saying such nice things. Love you so.

  3. This piece is so lovely.

    Sometimes I get wrapped up in the culture-war sorts of things that people like RHE blog about, or totally focused on my own little energetic battles. I think God uses people like you to remind me to zoom out and see the whole mosaic rather than my little blue tile. Aging, parents, the story of a loving person who is nearing the end of her journey and her effects – these are life, and these are close to God’s heart as well. Some challenges are deep and slow rather than fiery and quick.

    • Melissa – thank you so much for this comment. It came at exactly the right time for me as what you has described here is what I try to do on by blog and wherever else I write. And I found myself at a point of needing some affirmation of that this week. So – thanks!

      • You are very welcome 🙂

        This is the same Melissa that interacted with you last year – but I can’t seem to use Disqus here so you can’t see that. I’m glad to be reading your blog again.

        • Ah, yes – the email exchange. I’ll look it up. Yeah, wordpress has its own unique commenting system and it doesn’t show as much info.