Beth Morris, mother living with Alzheimer’s
Can I confess something? Sometimes I am jealous of other women.
Not in the way you would think. I really couldn’t care less about the clothes someone wears or how well they can pull off hoop ear rings. Let’s just be honest – I’m no good at accessorizing and my hips may now tell the story of the beautiful 9 months that my body housed my son. And, that’s okay with me.
See, for me walking around the mall brings on a whole new feeling of jealousy. One that many women may not be able to relate to, but I know there are others out there like me.
Picture it. A lovely aging woman pushing her giggling grandchild in a stroller in front of her. Her lovely adult daughter keeping pace alongside her mother. It’s a beautiful thing. Many may take it for granted. Many may be annoyed by their mom always wanting to tag along. Their mom chomping at the bit to push the stroller. Their mom wanting to sneak her precious grandchild a bite of her frozen yogurt. Their mom wanting to browse around Chico’s. Or sometimes I may even spot an aging woman and her ever aging mother, holding hands, walking around, talking about God knows what. I am jealous of that woman.
I will never have that.
And, in that moment, it doesn’t seem fair.
Here I am…only twenty-four years old. And, for the past seven years or so I have had to witness the slow death of my mother. I have had to pray that she doesn’t suffer – even if that means God taking her home – away from me. Thankfully, she is still with us. But, there are days that it seems as though it’s only an empty body that sits across the breakfast table from me. Some days she forgets where she is, who my beautiful baby boy belongs to, how she got from California to Indiana, and some days she forgets who I am. How am I supposed to handle that? The look on her face when I have to say, “Mom, I’m your daughter Beth” is painfully sad. Sorrow. Embarrassment. Shame. Guilt.
Some days she is nothing but angry and bitter. In those moments she says things to me that most mothers would never dream of saying to their daughters. I stand there and listen to her spewing her anger out on me…my heart hurts in those moments.
But, then God blesses us with good days. We’ll drive around ritzy neighborhoods just to kill some time, sipping on our Starbucks, pretending for a moment that we are hot stuff. A far cry from the silly girls that we really are. We laugh about the third daughter she had created in her mind. She’ll play with my son, balancing silly things on her head trying to make him laugh, she’ll comfort me in the moments when I lose my own mind…like the time I backed the car into the garage door. I cower behind her when a snake crosses our path on a hike, I cringe at all of the unwanted advice she gives me, I’m sad when she is sad, and I’m happy when she is happy. She may be slipping away from me, but for now, she is still my mom.