Friday, November 1, 2013

The cruel, devastating side of irony.

R didn't get to know her Grandma well she only heard stories. Stories that when she was young and dumb she laughed at, stories that made her cry when they began playing out with her Mom.

M was a great mom to my wife. She has fond memories of long bike rides her energy and zest for life and a total distrust of anything chocolate.

This is a sad story of loss, one drop at a time.

Sitting across the table from a friend who had lost his mom to cancer I said, "It's good you got to say good bye though." He couldn't look me in the eyes. He just said, "Yeah thats true." Now I am not so sure it is.

My Mother in law was the type that brought everyone in. M had a unique way about her to make everyone feel welcome. While I was dating my wife we would joke that she loved me more than her, and I am not totally sure that it was a joke.

M was a school teacher, but not just a normal school teacher. She specialized in teaching kids to read. Her house if full of gifts from thankful parents. A parent of one student, through tears, basically beg to come and replace the countertops in their house, it was the only way he felt he could repay her for succeeding so well where others had failed and given up on his young hispanic son. M was so good because she sincerely loved it.  She truly did it because she felt like she was giving a great, priceless gift to her students.

Yesterday she woke up and didn't recognize her husband of 32 years.

Looking back we can see when M's cruel disease started etching away, slowly, quietly. In planning our wedding my then fiancĂ© would remark "My Mom has never been like this, I just don't get it." We know now that these small personality changes are the first signs of Dementia. A couple years later while serving a mission for our church she would struggle to keeps her thoughts organized and would eventually be reassigned.

Now she forgets that she is visiting us in Utah, she thinks we came to visit her.

Why is this disease so cruel? There are many reasons, perhaps chief among them is that there is so little that can be done. There is no surgery or transplant. Drug and occupational therapy just slow it down-if you can handle the side effects.

Luckily after medical attention she calmed down and recognized her husband again, but it is an eventuality that one day it will leave and not come back. One day it will just be gone. One day the person that taught poor children to read will not recognize her daughter.

There really is no cheery side.

For now we just love her for who she is and has always been to us - Mom

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