I’ve missed being attentive and devoted to my patient, loving, and understanding hubby; how our relationship hasn’t been destroyed I’ll never know. Every sacrifice I chose to make he supported me; even if he thought it was not always fair for us to be totally responsible; he managed to grasp my decisions as if they were his own; whatever the cost to us; knowing I never do anything without being totally absorbed by it. Taking care of my parents, as if they were his very own; something poor brothers’s could never bring themselves to fully do; understanding how difficult emotionally it was for them to witness the shell this disease had left her in. If I spend the rest of my life I could never make things up to him; but I know I’m gonna try till my last breathe is drawn. The question is how do you allow someone close enough inside to begin the renewal process of what was US before all of this?

Sad part is I don’t even know where or how to begin; my minds so burdened right now with grief I can’t extend myself emotionally to attach to anyone else right now. I’m stuck in a swirl of emotions; it’s hard to feel. I feel like I’m holding everyone at arms length from me. I want to remain numb; rather than experiencing anything; because when I start feeling, then I’ll have to experience pain as well; I hate the pain and separation that I feel. Pulled into a shell where I can’t be touched emotionally feels safer right now. It’s been years since I’ve had the privilege to enjoy living my own life for me and my family. Maybe a fresh new start somewhere else help the renewal process begin.

My precious kids have all been so supportive, I worry about them worrying about me; I try to put on a good front for them; funny though they see through the phony positive mom. They know me too well! We are bonded as my mom and I were; can’t full them that really love me.

The mother in me realizes they need me to be their mommy; just I like I need my mommy; they’ve just lost their grandparents too! There was a special bond with each one of them and their Nana and Pop-Pop, they each witnessed the same horrific death scene that I witnessed as well. So the mother mode kicks in; we discuss how they are feeling and processing their grief; all the while I put my own feelings on a shelf to be there for them. Everybody acts like we are all fine; knowing we really aren’t! They don’t understand this computer or how my extended family understands what I’m going through; that I need to be here with all of you. They jokingly refer to my MSN as if it were a crack addiction!

I don’t have the energy to fully explain what I need to them, maybe in due time I’ll find the strength; but for now I’m being selfish; something they’ve never witnessed before in their mother; it’s causing them to worry! I’m sorry; but I feel connected here right now more than any place else; they don’t know how to filter that as beneficial for me; it’s foreign to them. This mom gives 24/7 and never thinks of herself first; it’s not a natural course of action for me; they come first, always have and eventually always will again. We are normally tightly bonded; one for all theory and I’m more solo lately. Isolating myself on the computer concerns them; though I wish it wouldn’t for this is therapeutic for me, helps me work through what I’m experiencing emotionally; so I can get on with the business of living.

Then I have morbid thoughts something could happen to one of them; or my hubby; God knows I surely wouldn’t survive the lost of them. I’m too weak spiritually; fear overwhelms me, I’ve already lost two parents in seventeen months; fear grips me internally so strong that I don’t want anyone, but my hubby, to transport my grandchildren over the holidays; not even their parents! with so many traffic accidents over the holidays. The holidays…hmmmmmm that was another roller coaster ride of emotions. There I could write a couple of chapters…I’ll spare you those thoughts. One blessing though, after 27 years I had the pleasure of spending Christmas and New Years with both of my baby brothers and their families! It was a wonderful family experience to share the holidays with them. It was sad though as well; how more special the fun if mom and dad could’ve enjoyed our experience as well.

Today was another ride of emotions for me going to the county court house for certified copies of the deed’s for the attorney’s records. Feeling like a ton of bricks hit me in the face… my childhood home of 36 years, our home of 20 years; where I’ve raised my children; both about to be sold for the estate… sent a wave of nausea all through my body. Knowing it’s the best decision I’ll probably make for my peace of mind; hopefully erasing the insomnia that’s taking it’s toll on my body and wearing me down emotionally and physically. Awakening every half hour or hour from habit; as I have for almost four years now; to go check on her while she’s sleeping. Reaching; half asleep; for her bedroom doorknob only to find she’s no longer there! My heart drops out of me; the agony of separation thrown in my face in the middle of the night over and over again! Looking at either door at the ends of the hallway; one is mom’s, the other dad’s; tears cloud my sight; as I stubble in the darkness to climb back into bed, or if I’m crying; I sit in the living room in my trusty chair; to be alone with my heavy thoughts, memories, or tears. This totally is reminds me that the rest of my life will be spent without mom and dad here to share my joys, accomplishments, and my new adventures. It creates an overwhelming need to feel her in my arms just one more time; to hold her close; to whisper mommy I love you; feeling so alone and empty.

Wondering how much sense it makes to want her here with me one moment and feel so relieved that she’s not here the next moment; only because her suffering has ended; thrilled her and daddy are together again; wrapped in His immeasurable love; no pain, no suffering, healthy, happy, and whole. Thankful I have only one mother and father to lose; for this has been the most difficult experience I’ve ever faced in my life.

Needing an emotional band-aid I visit, on the computer my extended family; knowing something will inspire me to move forward with life. Maybe someone else can benefit from our trials with mom with Alzheimer’s and find a solution to their present situation with their loved one; easing their pain they are living in at the moment; making mom’s life with almost thirteen years of suffering with Alzheimer’s to not be in vain. She would have wanted to help others; she spent her lifetime reaching out to help others. Somehow I feel like I’m continuing her legacy in life by reaching out to others who are searching for answers and information to journey Alzheimer’s with their loved ones.

The mind seems to have the uncanny ability to replay recorded memories of the horrendous journey we muddled through by trail and error. Immeasurable love, zillions of prayers, accepting daily mountains of challenges; and emotional turmoil pushing me almost over the edge of no return; more times than I care to remember. Solved only by God’s guidance and love see me through yet another impossible endeavor; for HE made possible the knowledge, encouragement, or inspiration to touch my life; allowing me to envision a solution; or a way out of the tunnel of despair I was experiencing; for whatever obstacle we encountered to properly care for mommy. Then I feel thankful for a moment and relieved it’s over for the most part; she healthy and whole once again. My soul soars with relief for her and embraces her death as something positive.

Any given moment, my heart reels once again with unbearable agony; more separation anxiety moments; feeling like I’m going to rip at the seams; absorbed with the reality I will never look into my daddy’s reassuring steel blue eyes telling me everything will be okay. Never feel his strong; loving arms hold me when I’m frightened that removed all my insecurity. Missing his familiar scent I loved when he gave me a big bear hug, the sound of his voice; his humor, hearing him sing old Christian songs we had learned in church as children. Daddy’s lil’ girl with no daddy to protect me. Never again will my mommy brush my hair from my face, kiss my tears away, reminding me together our love can face anything this old world puts on our path. Her tender touch as she caressed your hurts or worries away. Even through the Alzheimer’s; how her precious eyes conveyed so much love and communicated with your heart. Oh how I miss her so deeply inside the very fiber of my being. My inner child aches so desperately, my parents are gone; orphaned at 47 years old; and the age doesn’t matter; the lost is no less intense; I feel like a child all alone. Yet I’m not a child, I’m not physically alone; so how can my soul feel so incredibly alone; even in a crowded environment all around me.

The reality of knowing I’m not really alone; with a faithful, loving, precious hubby, four beautiful awesome children; and two glorious Masterpieces of God’s Love for grandchildren; tons of other family and friends; my extended family of my MSN Alzheimer Support Group; God touches my heart once again, and stirs my faith in Him. My state of mind improves momentarily; allowing me to endure one more emotional roller coaster ride of Alzheimer’s and grief.

My heart knows I wouldn’t change anything, oddly enough; for suffering with her through her trails and tribulations; sharing her journey with this horrible thief; which peeled away my beautiful, precious, loving, mommy piece by piece; has undoubtedly been my greatest accomplishment of faith I will ever have the pleasure to do. Time heals all…………..well it’s going to take more time than I probably will ever live..The immense bond I had with my parents will never allow me to be free of missing or longing for them.

My soul won’t rest emotionally until I’m reunited with them in paradise, and I’m ever-thankful God’s given me His Promise I will be with them once again for all Eternity. Until then ………I’ll take one day at a time and find my way back to the living, just pray for me to allow those close to my heart to reattach to me quickly; so I can rebuild a future that belongs to me with them.

God hold tight to me until I’m in Your arms for Eternity with them!

Copyright 2002 Debbie Ficocelli