Thursday, February 18, 2010

De Kat- The Cat , Mama and Alzheimer's Disease

My Mama has the dreaded disease called Alzheimer's. Everyone that loves someone with Alzheimer's has the dreaded disease called Alzheimer's. What I mean by that, is you can not help but be profoundly effected if your loved one has this disease. That is true of any disease, you might argue. Its not that you are not effected if your loved one has cancer or any other disease, fatal or otherwise. So true, and I'm not here to argue about what is the worst, because there is so much out there. So much sickness and sadness and hurt and loss. We are a dying planet after all and we start to age and die, I've heard people say, from the day we are born. But what is so terrible about this Alzheimer's, is that the person dies, that person you knew and loved and had a relationship with, before their body does, and all they were is gone, except for their body. Its a very strange and sad thing to watch the person you knew your whole life, say and do things totally uncharacteristic of their personality. Little by little, its gets worse and worse, until say, this person you always knew and loved , is angry all the time or sad or weepy or steals things or even possibly curses. ( Mom never did the later). Until, one day, there is nothing left that even resembles your former loved one, and then the body starts to wither away also. OK, I'm sure I'm depressing you by now and you are wondering about the title of this post. This is the good part. Once in a while, a window of that former person opens just a crack, and it is like the sun streaming through. What joy it brings me when this happens! Its not like "The Notebook", where someone could read to you and this would happen on a daily basis. In fact, this has only happened twice to me in about a years time , and today was one of those days. One of those days when you get a tiny peek and know that deep down inside, somewhere, your loved one is still in there! I will tell you about last Summer another time. Today, I want to tell you about , De Kat. We have a little teacup Maltipoo named Lexi. My Mom lived with us for a short time a couple of years ago when Lexi was just a puppy. She naughtily feed Lexi under the table and because Lexi is only about 5 pounds, my Mom did not seem to get that she was a dog, but called her, The Cat. It did not matter how many times I reminded her that, she was indeed ,a dog, she didn't get it. Mom was still speaking then, a little, and she had reverted back back to her native language, Dutch. Anyway, Mom and De Kat were mutually crazy about each other. I have brought Lexi to visit mom before, but there seemed to be no rememberance , so she had not been in a long time. Now realize that my Mom has not spoken more than a handful of words in a year. She jabbers, but nothing usually comes out. Today, when I brought Lexi, they wheeled Mom away from the table and she seemed very agitated that she was not going to get to eat. She fussed and fussed in her gibberish as I placed Lexi on her lap and she did not even seem to notice for a few minutes. Then, her face lit up and she said, she SAID- De Kat. The cat. Her face continued to beam and she looked up at the nurse like she was trying to explain. And for that moment, the window opened and her light shone through again and I can not tell you what joy those two little words brought me! My Mama is still there, somewhere deep inside... I love you Mama and you made me so happy today. Now, I'm crying, but I can't wait so see you again, tomorrow. And mostly, I can't wait to see you up in heaven, where you will be whole and happy again and healed, forever!

My Mama is the little black haired beauty at about 2 years of age

Posted by Picasa


  1. You look very much like your beautiful mother. My favorite book and movie is The Notebook. It is the reason I started to scrapbook and blog. So I would be able to read and bring back memories if Alzheimer's ever took hold of me or anyone else in my family. I hate that you and your mother have this disease. I agree it belongs to everyone one who loves her. God bless you and keep you strong.

  2. Beautiful photo and post.