Little Did She Know

My 84-year-old mother, brilliant and beautiful and strange, has been suffering from Alzheimer’s. I tried to keep her in her house as long as possible. Research shows that familiar surroundings make a big difference. Unfortunately, she kept getting into car accidents and burning things on the stove. But I hired visiting nurses to take care of her. In the end, it came down to a fall. I warned her to be careful because senior citizens often spiral toward death after a fall. Maybe she couldn’t be. One night earlier this year, she got up to go to the bathroom and fell. Little did she know it would change her life forever.

14 thoughts on “Little Did She Know

      • i’m actually a caregiver for a seventy eight year old gay man who’s on the spectrum, can barely walk and is a hoarder. not easy.

  1. I bleed for you, Ted.

    I was my father’s primary caregiver while he was slowly dying of cancer. He was a genuine genius, a holder of multiple patents who did the New York Time Sunday crossword puzzle, in ink every week. It hurt to watch him descend into senile dementia.

    He had colon cancer, so that meant I cleaned up his excrement on a number of occasions. I can’t even image how humiliating that must have been for him.

    Stay strong, love your mother, and if you believe in any gods pray that you will never have to go through that.

    • There’s someone somewhere who can’t go on
      Their life is crying, it’s all gone wrong
      What can I say now to help you through
      Except to say that I’ve been there too?

      —Ten Years After

      • “Kumbaya” has gotten a lot of negative press – but it’s a beautiful song with a beautiful back story.

        Kumbaya, Ted.

  2. I can relate. My mother is the same age and has been through some harrowing physical ordeals. She somehow still manages to get around the house. My father, who used to be a NASA engineer, is 91 and just a shell of his former self. They both live out of state, but a couple of my siblings live very close so they can keep an eye on them.

    Not sure what else to say except that it’s a sad chapter in our lives most of us will have to face.

  3. Ted, when you use four brief frames to portray the idiots driving us ever closer to a thermonuclear Armageddon, I almost always get a laugh, but I can’t seem to find anything at which to laugh here. Not a criticism of your work, but for some reason this tale hurts more than the prospect of the end of humanity as a whole….

    Best wishes to you and to ta maman….


  4. Sorry to hear about what must be a terrible situation. I’ve spent the past 13 months coping with the diminished state of my now 95 year old grandfather. From moving in with me and my wife to a Mother’s day fall fracturing C1 and C2 vertebrae it has been a long journey. If not familiar surroundings, familiar objects, pictures, mementos seem to stabilize the mind. Wishing you, your family and most importantly your mother the best.

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