"I always am amazed when I find myself able to learn in the present from something I experienced in my past.
During the 9 1/2 years that I was my mom's full-time Caregiver, in my home, while she battled Early Onset Alzheimer's, I discovered there were two words I removed from my vocabulary. I don't know exactly when it was, but one day I noticed I had stopped using the words "REMEMBER" and "FORGET."Two words that I never gave much thought to when I used to say them, had suddenly become taboo for me to say. No one had told me not to say them, or had told me why I stopped saying them. But I knew why.
The pain of what those two words had started to represent in my life at that time had become so great I couldn't continue to use them. Both of those words were constant reminders of what she could no longer "REMEMBER," and all the things she would soon "FORGET."
How torturous it would have been for me to continue to say, "Mom, don't you "REMEMBER" what day it is?" or "Mom, did you "FORGET" what I just told you?" That would have just been too cruel. So, slowly, but surely, I stopped using those two words. Not just for her, but for me too. You see, she would forget the sheer panic that would wash over her every time she couldn't "REMEMBER" or would "FORGET" again, but I couldn't forget. So, in order for me to stay as strong as I possibly could and continue to care of her, I simply stopped using those words.
I've learned that when you're in the heat of battle you will do what you must do to survive long enough to win that battle. Others don't have to understand it or approve it either. If it works for you in your situation or circumstance then by all means do it. Don't ask permission, just do what you need to do. If it's right for you, then it's the right thing to do.
Even today, I swallow hard when I use one of those words. They taste different as they pass through my lips now. Their definition has taken on a whole new life for me. They propel me back to all the things my mom could no longer "REMEMBER," and all the things she couldn't help but soon "FORGET." They take me back to the horror of the disease. But I've also learned so much from those two words. I've learned to NEVER, EVER take either one of those words for granted, and I've also learned that my Caregiving Life will live with me forever, and I will continue to learn from it and help others because of it."
Until the next time we talk......Stand firm on Philippians 4:13. Love,Hugs, & Prayers, ~tf