I have been diligently trying to remain calm with Mom. As I have stated before, I cannot even imagine how terrifying it must be to recognize no one in your life. And she is at the point in her disease that she does not know who I am. She recognizes me as someone who is familiar and caring, but that is as far as it goes. She does not accept that I am her daughter. In fact, most days she refuses to believe that she is old enough to have children.
And, for the most part, the patience has made a difference in our daily exchanges. She is calmer and much more loving, as am I. She still pushes the buttons that have been primed by a lifetime of her anger and disappointments. But, for the most part, I do not respond.
So, why is it breaking my heart? Was my anger just a defense against feeling her pain? Am I so shallow and selfish that it was easier to hurt than to be hurt? Because listening to her brokenhearted questions about her family forgetting her is crushing. And even knowing that she lives in another reality, it hurts when she talks about her daughter Nancy betraying her and neglecting her. But the most devastating is listening to her cry herself to sleep every night while begging God for help.