This is a blog, a series of essays perhaps, about living with and caretaking my soon to be 84 year old mother with advancing dementia. Through these writings, perhaps I'll illustrate and convey some of the key moments in Mom's decline. Vibrant...to Bland and Blank came to me while I was reflecting on my formerly Vibrant Mom; I'm aware of other caretakers/Loved Ones who report the 'blank' look that many dementia people have.
Today is January 1, 2011, New Year's Day. 20 years ago today Mom and I, along with my sister and brother-in-law, were up all night prowling Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, CA while the Rose Parade floats were being assembled in Parade Order. For the five/six years before that year Mom would drive from her home to Pasadena and volunteer with my sister in Float Decoration. She would tell me stories of working 18-20 hour days carrying vats of glue for decorations, coming back to my sister's place, falling into bed for three-four hours, and then getting up and doing it all over again. On January 1, Mom and sister would watch the parade, then go to the Rose Bowl Game, and be so tired she'd sleep through the Game.
After a few years of the decorating thing, Mom gave that up, but from about 1995 onwards she would get very excited about the Rose Parade, she'd want to get up and watch it on TV, we'd usually get a re-play of the Parade sometime later in the day and she'd watch that too.
This year, I woke Mom up at about 7:55 to get ready for our ordinary Morning Mass, I turned on the TV to the Parade, and Mom said 'what's that?'
Mom has had no knowledge of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
They are just 'another day'.