Last year at this time, my brothers were in town to take my parent’s car keys. My parents doctor wrote to the DMV regarding their cognitive issues and their licenses were revoked. My parents continued to drive. They really didn’t remember that their licenses were revoked.
I saw my parents say and do so many things that were outside the realm of normal behavior, that I would sometimes end up in tears — however, these were tears of frustration. I was at a loss about how to help my parent’s who were obviously failing, but did not recognize it.
Yesterday was my birthday. For the first time, my parent’s did not mention it. My mom no longer manages the calendar which was her guidebook for the past year. I have been telling myself that my parents are gone — however visiting with them now is pleasant compared to just six months ago. We still have a connection and familiarity and often spend our time chatting about the puzzle they are working on or what we need to go buy at the grocery store. Now they will ask for and easily accept my help.
The fact that they don’t know it’s my birthday reminds me how much of my parent’s I’ve already lost. Dementia is a cruel disease that afflicts us all. Aged.