That Monday over a week ago when I took the day off so my sister-in-law and I could take Iris back "home" to Emeritus after 5 days in the hospital. The day started out pretty good, big coffee and the Dr.s approval to discharge her.
Things turned ugly early afternoon when the nurse told me she needed to get her IV back in for some fluids before we could go.
It was one stick too many.
The next 8+ hrs was spent trying to reassure her that we were not murderers. She was not being killed. The IV's were not poison, and the pain was not nails.
I can't imagine how desperate one feels when their mind is tricking them into believing what is not, seeing who isn't there and feeling lost and alone.
That kind of fear drives determination and numbs physical pain.
This frail 90 year old momma had more strength in her right arm than I had in my entire body- she was fighting for her life, so she thought, and I could hardly hold her still.
The nurse tried to calm her. I tried to calm her. I did everything I knew to do while she continued to call out for Rex, shaking her fist at me when I told her he wasn't there.
She begged for the son who wasn't there to take her home.
I stopped reminding her who I was when she insisted that I was not married to her Rex because he would never marry anyone like me, and demanded to see the certificate.
I cried. I laughed. I grieved a little more. And I too, wished Rex was there- at the same time I was thanking God that he wasn't.
This Alzheimer's thing is still new to us. to our family. to her sons who are desperate to fix the un-fixable and change the un-changeable and to control the un-controllable.
It feels like Alzheimer's is winning so I wanted to protect him from the pain of seeing her this way.
So confused. So desperate. So different.
Finally after her
But she was not satisfied.
Until her son walked in to the room, and said "Momma" and she knew him. She talked to him about past and present. And, when she started to yell, he simply repeated, "Momma, take my hand" and she did.
And then, because it's what he knows, he sang. He sang of God's Amazing Grace, and life's trials, of trust and faith.
I sat and watched the medicine of love calm her.
The love between a momma and her son calmed her in a way the pills and even her three best daughters-in-law couldn't do that day.
I was reminded how precious our time with her is no matter how difficult the days are.
And I learned that sometimes what she needs the most is just her son and his song.
Happy Wednesday y'all!