Doctors visit

May 18, 2018

Shivering, I hustled to the main entrance eagerly tapping the buzzer. The door, armed with a shrieking alarm, keeps me from entering and I wait anxiously. A prickle of apprehension ushers in the reminder of where I am and the shadow of her decline.

Finally inside, my hands glide hastily through the pages of the sign out binder and I scribble our names.

Ambling down the short corridor I am awash with memories. Recalling the young girl in me who wanted her mother as she prepared to deliver her third child. That distance now dangles before me like a shard of glass, sharp enough to capture my attention while stabbing at the bravado I previously held.

Sadness nips at my heart as I coax my body towards another locked door. Home to those who wander and where I will find her.

Entering the pass code the latch heaves its release as I gain access; each digit creates a flame of tenderness, its sameness to the year of my brother’s death.

Anticipation gnaws like a curious child as I fumble to charm a smile. Scanning to find her, I am distracted by a petite woman with abrupt white hair as she lovingly mops the head of an infant doll and I shiver at the reality before me.

A two-year resident I find her gently rocking in place and I wonder if she knows who I am. She fades more with each visit as the stages of dementia take root. We ready for her doctor appointment, an evaluation of the reality we know.

Driving the short distance to her doctor I notice her tangled within the seatbelt as she attempts to free herself.  The loss blinding me as she slips further away. Timidly she makes her way amidst the hurried pace around us while I continually pause to guide her.

The sheath I prepared with feels useless, as a lump expands in my throat. Each question from her doctor reveals the devastation. Another missing piece disassembling her life, demonstrating the evils of this sad disease.

As we drive back to the nursing home I think about how tough her life has been and it breaks me further. She spent so many years worried of this day. Afraid to live when she could, now unaware of what is left.

And then I notice my own reflection and wonder am I too living afraid?


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  • May 18, 2018 @ 5:16 PM EDT
    By Pat MacKenney
    Beautiful, must be so very difficult for you to watch your mom fading away , just when you want to share so many joys in your life , you keep hoping she can understand she is a great grandmother to your sweet granddaughter.
  • May 18, 2018 @ 1:34 PM EDT
    By Anon
    I think we all live afraid of what could happen, when we’ll lose someone, lose apart of us, but we have to remind ourselves that life is worth living and we have to enjoy the simple things, love hard, and laugh as much as we can
  • May 18, 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT
    By Debbie
    You’re brave. Your words are beyond! Love your insight and revelations.

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