As many of you already know, our mom was diagnosed with FTD nearly 2 years ago. To say this process has been an epic journey thus far is an understatement. Just like a little kid that goes through various phases and changes as they develop, so does one with a brain disease like dementia. We are simply doing our best to go with the flow and roll with the phases as they come. On a high note, my family has come together and we are stronger than ever and hell-bent and determined to provide June Bug with the mac daddy of care and peace as she travels this road.
Currently, we are at a point where we need to simplify our mom’s living situation. Ultimately, we know this process is going to be quite long. A move closer also makes sense as I am assuming a large portion of this responsibility. The actual thought of my mom moving closer to me has me top hat and caning it all over town. And, her current home is simply too big. For two months I explored condo living as an option. Her wish is to be taken care of in her home and she is fortunate to be able to do so. In that case, her wish is my command. Now the question is not where she is moving, it is what is she moving into? A condo didn’t seem right. I could feel it in my gut. And to be honest, she was never a condo kinda gal. It wouldn’t have been what she wanted. My siblings agreed. I shelved the condo plan and went back to the drawing board.
And like always, when I wasn’t really looking, or was I? It appeared. I was driving down a street in my neighborhood for the 900th time and the most darling white brick cape cod had gone on the market. Can I be a bit dramatic? It was like a beacon of hope and light. I’m not kidding. Within a day I was inside and a week later an offer was made. Something in my gut said this was the right thing to do. So I did!
“And suddenly you know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.”
We brought my mom to see the place and since that moment there has been a shift. Lots of smiles and genuine laughs. She’s good! Peaceful. Calm. She was excited. I was sure of it. But then again, never too sure. Because don’t forget, she barely speaks and any semblance of emotion comes in the form of a laugh usually when Nicole is putting on a show. Last week when I was hanging with her, one of her caregivers had told me how my mom first directed her to my house on the way home from her haircut and then went on to take her to the new house where she pointed and said, “That’s my house.” SWOON! It was official. She gets it. She’s good with it. She is looking forward. My heart exploded. Magic.
Then this past weekend, she and I sat in front of her house and watched the kids climb their favorite tree in her yard and I started sharing some photos from Pinterest with her. That is what we would have been doing if she didn’t have dementia, why not, right? I could tell when she didn’t approve of something because she would swipe fast. If she was digging whatever bit of inspiration I was showing her, she would tap it twice like she was saying, “Now this I like.” I needed to be tethered to my chair that day because it was a hopeful moment. She and I connected again on something we once loved doing together and it was this very moment that reassured me that this move was what we should be doing. Suddenly, I was looking forward. I was excited for the future and for her future and for our project to make a home for her… with her. Magic.
I realized that being afraid of moving her didn’t have to be bad. It wasn’t something that I needed to dread. The change for her will be an adjustment, but I know she isn’t afraid and so neither am I. I am so trusting the magic of new beginnings as I have experienced bits of it already and the fun hasn’t even begun. If this isn’t making lemonade out of lemons then I don’t know what is, but for the love of Pete, it can’t all be bad. I am grasping at the magic and looking forward to the future and I can’t wait!