Slowly, ever so slowly, I have been making my way through Mom's room and other stash worthy areas. Each day I seem to be reminded of the toll that Alzheimer's has on a person's life, not just social and health tolls, but the things that we find comfort in caring for while they are in our trust.
Now, Mom was never considered a great housekeeper, not even a good one. If we came home and the house was neater than usual our first question was, "Who's coming over?" She never seemed to care that most of our furniture were cast offs from friends and family. None of that was important. There were a few things though that she cherished and treated well. Her bedroom set fell into that category. My parents bought that set long before I was born and Mom loved it. I learned how to care for wood furniture through her and those pieces. Heaven help the child who set a cup or a plate on that furniture. She had thick protective glass pieces on the tops of each one.
Which makes the finally digging through the piles of stuff of the last 10 years of hoarding to the furniture beneath all the more heartbreaking. This "is" her vanity.
While I was never a fan of the style, it was still a beautiful piece of furniture. The high boy and night stand that remain of the set are in slightly better condition. She would be crushed to see what she did while under control of the disease.
To me, this represents all that Alzheimer's has done to my family over the course of its destruction. It took a family and destroyed layers to the point that they can't be fixed. While other parts are damaged but salvageable, standing tall and strong. Unlike this vanity, my family and I have the gifts of hope, forgiveness and love. I believe we will be just fine. The furniture? Not so much.