Today marked the beginning of my second week here in Little Rock, and my mom's 10th day in the Geri Psych Unit. My dad had a phone conference with my mom's doctor this morning and we determined that she will be ready to leave their facility this week. We also learned that, according to the doctor (who is not God) that he thinks my mom has about 3 to 6 months to live. I make the clarification that the doctor is not God because it is written clearly in Psalm 139:16, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." It seems silly that I read this verse everyday, and yet I still tell my mom she can go to Jesus when she is ready. Like she needs my permission, or something. I think it is part of letting go, of even telling God we are ready for Him to take her. We know she is ready, so now we wait on Him.
My prayer for my mom right now is Psalm 40:1-4, "I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon the rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." She is waiting for Him to put that new song in her. The day she will be made new, when she will speak again, and be confused no more. For this day I will fervently pray.
I decided (after talking to my aunt and dad) to post a few pictures that we took tonight during our visit with my mom. The truth is, nothing could prepare us for what we have gone through with this disease. I know there are people who will be shocked I posted pictures (you can get over yourselves). There is still that controlling part of me that wants to keep everything about my mom wrapped neatly in a little box. The truth is, we love my mom and know that so many of you do, too. You need to know and see what is happening - it is an important part of processing your grief, too.
I want to be willing to share openly with family, friends, and even strangers who are going through the early onset Alzheimer's journey. There is nothing about early onset that compares to regular Alzheimer's. No one in AR who had a family member with early onset was willing to talk to our family about what they had gone through. I think that is one reason I have been so candid on this blog. If I can help one person, then all this journaling publicly was worth it.
When my dad and I visited tonight she was in pretty good spirits. We even caught her smile! She was smiling occasionally at things my dad would say.
My mom responds best to me when I tell her "Gingie Bain" is here. That is what she and my dad called me when I was little. My dad got this picture of me telling sweet Mom that her Gingie Bain loves her.
My dad was telling my mom how much he always loved her smile. He said he loved the days when he was working in the yard and she would pull in the driveway from running errands and give him the biggest grin. I had never heard him tell that story before tonight when he told her.