Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been – Mark Twain
On Easter Sunday, I set up a my new backdrop. I wanted to test it out, and to test a few things out on my camera. I had hoped to get pictures of my Mom who is turning 75 this week. While waiting for my “models’ (my children) I asked my Mom to sit for me. She declined stating that she does not like her picture taken due to her wrinkles. I expected that answer so like a child, I said “paaleeeeaaassseee Mom.” She smiled and said she would.
The photo shoot was quick but fun. Just because the woman sitting before me is not the exact same mother I had before FT Dementia and Alzheimer’s, I was blessed with seeing old parts and new of her. Though words don’t come as easily Mom is still vain like many of us. She wanted to look good and young and communicated that she does not like her wrinkles. “I look like a really old lady!” she stated. At one point she decided to pull her skin-tight on her face to lessen her wrinkles. Her behavior was that of a silly five-year old. She had me in stitches and soon she was in stitches too. Mom continued with her child like behavior. It was sweet and endearing. She showed me there is no age limit to vanity.
I honestly don’t remember my mother without her wrinkles. When she was a young child into adulthood she spent every summer at the beach. Then she smoked two packs of Winston a day for over forty years they both took their toll. I bet some of those wrinkles are from her five children (not me of course).
What I got to see through the lens and then on print was a mischievous, sweet woman, wrinkles and all. I am so happy she sat for me! Happy 75th birthday Mom!
I am not an old lady, just a little girl with wrinkles – Edythe E. Bregnar
I had an interesting dream the other night. I was riding a bike with my Mom on the back of the bike. We were coming down and hill and when I went to apply the brakes, I realized they weren’t working. We were heading towards and intersection so I put my feet on the ground, dragging them trying to slow down. I told my Mom to hold on, we were going to have to tip the bike to avoid the intersection. The bike was tipped and my Mom was screaming at me asking me how I could do that to her. Then (still in my dream), my husband rode over and asked if all was ok. I told him what happened and when we looked at the bike, we realized the brake line had been disconnected. Then my mother chimed in stating that she had disconnected them.
No dream crazy dream interpretation needed. This is how my life is. Me dragging my feet trying to slow down what is happening. My mother constantly sabotaging her treatment and care. Her yelling, me bringing her along. Tipping which ever way we need to so we can understand and get things done. The helplessness we both feel. The control we both crave for. When I told my husband Graham of my dream he laughed. Not much of a dream if its what happens in everyday life!
I am an abused woman. It’s difficult to say, its difficult to know, but it is the truth. The fearing of what is the mood going to be like when I get home, afraid to say or do the wrong thing is what I go through daily. There are times when I have days, even a week where things are great. There are other times when its hour to hour. We’ve heard this story in real life and on tons of Lifetime movies. Many can relate to it. My abuser has a mental illness. My abuser is my 74 years old. My abuser is my mother with FT Dementia, Early Alzheimer’s.
The ironic thing is that my Mom would often to tell me as a young adult to never stay with an abusive man. Whether a man’s tongue lashed at me or he put a hand on me, I was to leave and quickly get out of that relationship. She would say, “No one has the right to treat you that way.” Fast forward many years later and that is what my Mom does to me. The difference is, there is no escaping. I can’t leave. My mother is ill.
There are many people who go through this, from a spouse, loved one or child. I know some parents who are on the receiving end from a unwell child. They can’t leave either. So we trudge through, make the best of the best times and duck and weave either physically or emotionally in the worst times. Its an arduous task that we take on, but when you love someone how do you not take it on? I now can understand how people get stuck in an abusive relationship, especially if they see their abuser as needing them.
For me, I believe that once my Mom’s medication is sorted out, things may get better. I also take the good times and hold on to them. I know that the woman who stands before me ranting and raving, swinging her fists is not truly my mother. My mother has gotten lost along the way.