Missing My Mom on Christmas Eve . . .
By Marileigh on December 24, 2010
(Mom and Zak at Jenny & Jon's wedding, September 4, 2010)
I think this time of year is the worst for me when it comes to the holidays. Mom loved holidays and she decorated and dd the holiday up big. For as long as I can remember Christmas was the favorite and she ran Christmas like a fine oiled clock. Tick-Tock perfection. I can never live up to this, so I don't even try.
I took Mom out this afternoon for some last minute shopping. She needed to get something for Zak and while it is just as easy for me to do it alone, it is a present from her and I want her to be a part of picking it out. Zak is Mom's youngest grandchild and he also happens to be her favorite grandchild. Her favorite, not because he than the rest of the grandchildren, but favorite because he dotes on her and spends time with her. Zak is 27 yars old and a crusie ship captain, and he loves to spend a day off with his Grandma, taking her to lunch and a movie even when she talks through the movie and has no idea they were even at a mo0vie after they walk out of the theater. Even though Mom can't express herself, I knew she would want to not only get a gift for Zak, but she'd want it to be something he'd really like.
I really didn't want to battle the mall this afternoon, so we went to a store in town. We found Zak a beautiful hand knit argyle vest. He will love it. We also stopped in the bookstore and bought him all three of the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" books which he has been wanting. He was unhappy to find I had bought them on my Kindle, which meant he couldn't borrow them from me--Zak's bookshelf is filled with hardback books that I have purchased :) We also found him the WSU Cougar slippers I had been searching for at the team store in town. Mom is quite happy with the gifts and was even able to help me wrap them. This is an improvement over a few days ago when I was wrapping and she couldn't figure out what to do with the paper and tape. That's the way Alzheimer's is though, it's horrible one day and a tad better the next. It's bad either way, but a bit better is worth it to me.
Tonight we're going to the midnight candlelight service at church. This is always a special time and I really like the candle light service and the Christmas story filled with music. I knew that Mom needed to know we were going to the service, but it is always iffy as to when I should tell her. If I tell her too soon she will get antsy and pace until it's time to go, yet if I don't tell her she will pester me about getting ready for bed and telling me she is tired and wants to go to bed. I told her we were going to church and since then it's been nothing but questions about if it's time to go, where are we going, do I knew where the church is, what church, is her hair combed, does she need shoes on, can she wear her robe, and the list goes on and on. In spite of the distractions I did get her dressed in some Christmas attire and she is now sitting in her chair playing solitaire which I hope will keep her occupied until time to go.
I miss my Mom at Christmas. I miss waking up and her making us wait upstairs while Dad got the camera ready to take our pictures coming downstairs to see what all Santa bought us. I miss our Christmas outfits--how did Santa know what size we all wore? I miss the fire in the fireplace and sitting around opening our presents after breakfast. After we opened everything Mom had us gather up our gifts and take them upstairs to our rooms and display them on our beds, so that when everyone came over later they could see what all we got. I miss Mom preparing Christmas dinner. Now I prepare Christmas dinner, and it is not the same at all, but it is the way it is now.
Mom doesn't have much memory of Christmas. It's just a day, like any other day to her now. One of many long days in her life. Her life. A life that she doesn't want to be living anymore. Mom is aware enough to know what is happening to her mind to pray that God would take her home soon. It hurts me when I hear her say that, of worse yet when she tells me that.
How do I pray with her for God to take her? I do because I know that while physically she may still look like my Mom, mentally she is no longer the Mom I know.
I miss you Mom.
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