A year has passed and once again, I am reflecting upon my November rose.
My mom was having a really bad morning.
She noticed that her caregiver was staying for an unusually long time.
She realized that I had extended the hours of care without asking her permission.
She felt frustrated that she did not have a choice in this matter.
She was angry, resentful, and justifiably upset.
So my mom did what any person with middle-stage dementia would do.
She called me up and told me off.
In fact, my mother was so mad at me that she told me that she never wanted to see me again.
She said I was not welcome in her home anymore.
She went so far as to say that she would never speak to me again in her whole life.
Then she hung up on me.
As I sat on the edge of my bed, holding my phone in one hand and wondering what on earth had just happened, I reminded myself of one simple truth, over and over again.
That was not my mother talking. That was the disease.
I choose not to take offense.
I choose not to let her words hurt me.
I choose to remember that dementia is destroying her brain.
I choose to believe that someday she will be whole again, and we will meet in heaven and all of this ugliness will be nothing but a painless memory of our days on earth.
I choose to hold on.
Because that was not my mother talking. That was the disease.