Sunday after church we drove to Mom and Dad's, picked them up, and met our son and daughter-in-love at Fats Asian Bistro in celebration of my birthday. While most of the feast was enjoyable, at one point Mom got mad. Dad poured more Jasmine tea into her cup. She didn't want more tea.
The incident silenced us.
Alzheimer's is ugly.
It changes a person's personality.
Not that Dad hasn't given Mom plenty to scuff about in their 63 years of marriage--it's the trivial irritations that rub her nerves, makes her lash out in uncharacteristic ways. But the moment passed. We finished our meal and all headed back to their place.
We're in the process of looking for a home to put Mom in, and praying it's a place where Dad will be comfortable too. A caregiver comes to their house a few times a week, but once Mom's in a care facility, the thought of him being home alone would cause us concern. His balance is bad and he falls.
Despite what appears to be a downer, the timing, well, it couldn't be better. Our kids are looking to purchase their first home and would love to buy Mom and Dad's. A big plus? It's close to us, our church, and the schools our son attended, and in a good area.
While our daughter-in-love has been to their home a few times, she's never seen the back rooms and the whole yard. So in an unobtrusive way, we showed her around.
After the tour, we visited a short time in the kitchen. Mom sat on a chair with her family standing around her. Three different times she threw her head back and laughed with childlike abandon. She's always loved to laugh. I'm thankful to have inherited that from her.
When Mom's gone, I want to remember that day. That vision of her head thrown back, and the childlike giggles pouring forth from her so sweetly. You couldn't help but join in her contagious gaiety.
Several years ago, she told me how Dad, upon hearing her laugh at something she saw on TV, asked, "Why do you laugh so much?" Her reply, "It's better than crying."
While my heart aches for the whole of who she was … I love her still and always will.
Proverbs 17:17 - "Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble." The Message