This I Believe

Todd - Johnson City, Tennessee
Entered on February 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness

This I Believe

Almost a year ago my mother passed away, and before she did she was diagnosed with dementia (which is a form of Alzheimer’s disease). After she was diagnosed with this, she acted and said things that a young child would. At the beginning, her actions seemed humorous to me and my twin brother. She would say and do things that were so out of character that we thought that when she gets better, she will laugh at it with us. My mom was superwomen! She always had medical problems (high blood pressure, broken hip, etc), but she had always gotten better. She was in a health care center because my brother and I could not give her the attention she needed twenty-four hours a day. On March 14, 2006, I went to see my mom because I was heading out of town for St. Patrick’s Day, but my mom’s actions had changed from that of a child to the actions of a paranoid war veteran. She kept claiming that people around her wanted to kill her, and she continuously asked me to take her home with me, but I kept trying to explain to her that I could not do that because I did not have the means to give her the medical attention she needed. After a couple of hours, she seemed to calm down, but she was still very stressed about the people around her. However, I had become great friends with the people that worked with her, and I had total trust in their ability to do what was right for my mom. So I decided to wait one more day before I went out of town to meet my friends (I do not know why, but I just felt compelled to wait another day). On this day March 17, 2006, my mother went to the hospital and I went there to see what was wrong, and how long she would be there this time. This was selfish thinking on my part. This, of course, was to be her last visit. The doctor said she had less than twenty four hours to live because of an infection that spread throughout her body. I was shocked! What happened to Superwoman? There was so much I wanted to say to her, but she was in a coma. The number one thing I wanted to say was how proud I was of her to raise twin brats into responsible men. I lost my only security blanket, and had tons of guilt because of the things I left unsaid; I assumed she knew how I felt. Today, I live my life to the fullest without much regret because that is what my mom would have wanted. But this I believe: Live life without the fear of death, but always let the people you love know how you feel each day. In a blink of an eye that person could be gone forever, and living with that guilt is as painful as losing that loved one.