Thursday, May 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday. Happy birthday mom! Joan took her out to lunch yesterday, and I plan to take her out to dinner tonight, and we'll all go out to dinner together when we can coordinate schedules.

When I was younger, (a long long time ago), I remember wearing "corsages" to school on my birthday. They were made of ribbon and pipecleaners and the pipecleaners wrapped around some sort of candy...chocolate, tootsie rolls, gum. Wearing the corsage always made me feel special.

Don't know what I can do today to make my mom feel special. It's hard knowing that no matter what I do, my mom won't remember it 2 minutes later (oh heck, who am I fooling...she won't remember it seconds later). True, she would enjoy the moment, and that is really important, but it breaks my heart that she won't remember what we did, and that her feeling "extra special" on her birthday will be a only fleeting sensation. From one moment to the next, thoughts, feelings, ideas disappear quickly for her. Far too quickly. I wish it wasn't so.

When my father was still alive, he too had dementia. My mother would always say "But he enjoys himself while we are...out to lunch, going for a drive, in the store (you fill in the blank). Now it's my mother's turn to not remember. Living in the moment can be a good thing...after all isn't that what the 'yogis' say we should do? However, I don't think that forgetting the moment before, is what it's all about. It certainly is painful for those of us that love my mom, to see her not remembering. She doesn't remember that today is her birthday, unless I constinually say to her..."Guess what mom, it's May 3rd" or "Happy birthday mom". Then her face lights up, and she for a moment, yes, just for a moment remembers.

So Happy Birthday Mom, may you enjoy each and every moment as it comes. I love you.


egan said...

Happy birthday Lynn's mom! Pardon my question, does your mom have Alzheimer's? My grandparents had it and I've started to see a few signs in my mom. I hope you have a good time with her.

Pssstt, my bday is tomorrow.

Pam said...

I'm glad your mom can still express delight, even if it's only for one moment at a time... I wish her a happy birthday! And I wish for you the making of good memories while you still have these moments with her.

only oldest said...

when I spent Monday evening with mom, I realized she remembers life as it was before she was about 35. She remembers relatives and jobs and growing up in Montreal.

Being the oldest gives me the advantage of remembering how Uncle B felt about those relatives and how he would make fun of them. While mom and I were together, she spoke about these cousins and I would repeat Uncle B's snarky remarks. That would make mom laugh because she remembers Uncle B saying them and how angry our Grandmother would be.

I too reminded Mom that her birthday was coming up. The best part is that she has no idea how old she is, and she knows she still feels great. Even better yet that she still thinks of me as a kid even though I am crawing through my 60's. What's really ironic is that she remembers my birthday (the date not the year) probably because it was the first of the 5 of us, but not her own.

We have been a very lucky bunch to have this wonderful woman part of our lives. No matter how lost her memory is, it's still a joy and security for me to be around her.

Happy birthday Auntie M. You deserve many more very happy birthdays and I love you so very much.

ARM said...

Lots of May birthdays going on around here! I hope she has a wonderful day. And like Pam said, at least she can express her joy, no matter how limited the moment is.

meno said...

It must be odd that she is ill and happy and you are sad.

Happy Birthday to your mother.

Patti said...

Happy Birthday to your mom! It's good she at least has moments of joy.
I realized your mom was elderly but I didn't know she had this problem.
This must be very hard on you, Lynn.
I hope you enjoyed the birthday dinner.

Renee said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom. I know that she'll enjoy anything that you do...even if she doesn't remember it.
I wonder if she would remember one of those special corsages...couldn't hurt.

patches said...

I'm sending your mom Happy Birthday wishes, and a leg rub. I'm glad that she can embrace the happiness of the moment, even it she can't recall why. It's unfair that while she is blissfully unaware, the rest of you are completely tuned in. It helps you appreciate simple moments : )

Lynn said...

Egan - My mom thanks you for the birthday wishes, and I wish you a happy bday tomorrow! My mother has dementia...which means that her long term memory is intact, but her short term memory is gone.

Pam - Thanks for the birthday wishes. We are all making lots of memories with her.

Only Oldest - I know that mom enjoyed your visit, as well as dinner, even though she doesn't remember.

Arm - Thank goodness she can still enjoy life!

Meno - There was a time when her memory first started to deteriorate when she was sad, and we were sad...That was both frustrating and difficult for all of us. On the positive side, at least she is still physically healthy.

Patti - Thanks for the birthday wishes. We all enjoyed the birthday dinner...and yes, it is hard.

Renee - I don't think that they make those corsages anymore, but I could certainly try to make one for her, for when we all go out to dinner. Thanks for the suggestion.

Patches - I'm thinking that my mom would definitely appreciate the leg rub. Our dog tends to "fan" my mom with her tail. I too am glad that my mom is passed the point of frustration at not remembering, I think it's somehow easier on everyone.

Joan said...

Thanks for honoring mom in your blog. I couldn't have said it better!!!

Lynn said...

Joan - You're welcome.

egan said...

Thanks Lynn for explaining that to me.