I am blessed that I have an opportunity to spend time with my mommy. It is however, bittersweet as always. I try to focus on the positive and not get caught up in the sadness so that I can actually enjoy the moments we have together because only God knows how much longer we have.
Those who knew my mom when I was growing up will remember a fiesty, beautfiul, smart, successful woman. A woman who took great pride in her appearance. My mom paid top dollar for clothes and accessories. She got her shoes, hats, & purses dyed to match her outfits! It was a point of contention for us because through college I was not really interested in fashion. I shopped to buy clothes to cover me but was not as concerned with fashion. My mom could spend all weekend at the mall. And she shopped for more than just clothes….house hold items, things to give away, books, anything really…it bordered on being an addiction.
One of my most vivid and fondest memories is of her taking us on the Friday after Thanksgiving to the mall for the “Black Friday” sales….EARLY we’d be lined up outside the mall, in cool California weather, sipping hot chocolate. While most people use that day to buy BIG ticket items she used it to buy more clothes…and we benefitted also with new clothes. She got so caught up in her shopping that Marla and I had to remind her that we needed to eat lunch!
Today we went to the mall….well, it started at home. It’s 95+ degrees in Atlanta and I couldn’t find her summer clothes. No sign of a sun dress or cropped pants….astonishing to me for a woman who bought 2 of everything and who had just gone shopping with my Godmother. Anyway…at the mall she was uninterested in looking at clothes; even when prompted by me to look at a particular item or two. I know the stores are now overwhelming for her and the noise too much. I try to remember to go earlier in the day while her energy is still up. It’s sad for me to see a woman who I remember as the best dressed mom (urging me to be more fashionable) now wear the same black stretch pants day-in and day-out and show little interest in buying clothes. It’s almost as if she has forgotten how to shop.
They say that in older age, and particularly with dementia, your personality traits are magnified. So I thought she’d be spending up a storm (almost like on a bi-polar high) but the opposite is happening. She has other magnified traits which are kind of funny, but this one is strange to me given that she owns 5 or 6 sets of dishes; probably 50 towels; 12 or so sets of sheets; more shoes than I can count…and the thought often crosses my mind about having to clean it all out, pack it up, sell it, give it away, etc….OY!
The plus side tot his is that she kept repeating how happy she was to spend time with me and her grandson (our Miracle BSo I wonder if I’ll turn into a fashion diva when I get older and spend my life savings matches my outfits to shoes & hats!Anyway, just another note in my journal of being the daughter of a woman with Alzheimer’s.