just another day

allylee

Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
180
56
west mids
Christmas Day, we made a huge effort this yr, knowing that it would be mums last in which she had any awareness. Whats come as a huge shock, is that that stage has already passed without me realising. OK, shes not been able to write cards this yr,buy presents or remember names of lifetime friends, but I somehow believed that she would recognise the day.Not so, today was much the same as every other over the last six months.She continued to repeat the same questions
about collecting her pension, over and over, wandered around mithered looking for god knows what, thought that the kids were on summer holidays from school, and generally the day was upsetting for us all.We both ended up in tears.
Have I deluded myself about how bad she actually is, is it denial, or was I hoping for a touch of normality in our very topsy turvy world, Im not sure, but the realisation has hit me hard.
She looks small and frightened, which echos how I feel tonight.
Ally xx
 

KarenC

Registered User
Jun 2, 2005
122
Los Angeles, USA
Hi Ally,

Sorry you had such a sad Christmas with your mother. Last year my mom was more cognizant of where she was, but it did not click even then that it was Christmas. This year she was only more oblivious to the fact. It has been a few years since she was up to writing cards, buying presents, etc.

In some ways dementia patients are like little kids, and I think we may hope/expect them to be happy about Christmas like children, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

I hope you have a better day tomorrow.

Karen
 

mominthemiddle

Registered User
Dec 26, 2005
7
California USA
Ally,

I can surely understand your desire to have a bit of normalcy during Christmas. Maybe the holidays are markers that make the differences seem more profound, because we are so accustomed to celebrating our traditions in certain ways and notice if something is vastly different. My father didn't know it was Christmas today either, and my mother (his primary caregiver) clearly wasn't much excited about the holiday either. I just had to leave our gathering knowing I had done what I could to bring a small amount of cheer into their lives, and that I was helpless to correct the problem brought about by my father's dementia. Hang in there--sounds like you are devoted to your mother, and even if she can't appreciate what you have done for her, at least you'll know you did what you could.

Sue
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Ally

I went through this particular stage with my wife Jan about 5-6 years ago.

Very shocking at first, then I came to realise that Christmas is the same as any other day. It is simply something that some folks [most of us in the West] have decided is a special day.

Many times it has come to me that dementia brings a clarity to people that our 'civilisation' tends to cloud. We break through into what is really important.

If we enter their world, which is what we have to do to relate to them, then it isn't that important, certainly not to them, and that is all that really matters - we will have many 'normal' Christmas celebrations at other times in the future.

Turn it round a bit.... if Christmas Day is like any other day to them, then make every day Christmas Day, rather than reducing Christmas Day to be the same as any other day. Make every day special. Make every day count.

It's hard, I know. But gritting one's teeth isn't so far facially from smiling..... ;)
 

allylee

Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
180
56
west mids
Thanx, Brucie your last line made me laugh! Todays another day of course, and yesterdays despair is no more.
Love to you all Ally xx