Your Strength Was Unbelievable
You communicated with me as long as you could, by squeezing my finger. The
Vascular Dementia had taken your memory, but it had not taken your soul. The Rheumatoid Arthritis had taken your dexterity, but had not taken your strength. I cried more than I wanted to. I didn’t mean to. They say to be strong, but my insides were torn as a mother and a child – I could not take away the pain. I did not understand why your journey couldn’t be less painful. Your strength was unbelievable.
As 7 years passed, I was witness to the many stages of your Dementia. Early on, we talked about it, and you would try to share what it was like. You knew something was happening and it scared you. I wanted to know so much about what it felt like to not remember how to turn the TV on for entertainment anymore, use your single serve Keurig coffee maker or know what day it was to get your hair set. Nevertheless, as these arose, we put teams in place to help gently guide you through your day. Your strength was unbelievable.
Some things just became downright funny. I mean, how do you start to look for a lost dental bridge? Imagine what those folks on the Assisted Living bus thought when I was asking them to raise their feet? How about your ability to speak just loudly enough about someone’s appearance or personal hygiene that the whole room could hear? Oh my heavens…. the apologies…. but the giggles……. It was then I realized how the Vascular Dementia was changing who you were….. Your strength was unbelievable.
Then…… the unthinkable happened. You called me your “friend” during one of our lunches. I had been waiting for this moment. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew exactly how to react. I had no clue. I swallowed hard and fought back tears, but resigned myself to make sure you knew I was your daughter. I learned to be the person you wanted me to be. The one you trusted. Your memory came and went as the years passed, but what did not leave you was the smile every time you saw me. “Hi Honey” was the welcome I always got with big hug and kiss. No matter the name you gave me, I was still your “special person”. Your strength was unbelievable.
Thank you for all you gave me: Warm home, love of God, swimming lessons, girl scouts, soccer teams, softball teams, volleyball teams, study help, ice skates, warm Christmas’s, outrageous Christmas cookies, advice, high heels, band aids, stitches, hand sewn clothes, hand sewn Halloween costumes, home cooked meals, prayers, hope, laughter, love, and so much more…
I had asked you just before you went to be with the Lord, to continue to be by my side. Gosh darn if you haven’t followed through with my request! The oddest things are happening, and I know you and Dad are having the time of your lives. Frankly, I think Dad is overjoyed to have you back, and I think he’s the prankster!
May you dance for eternity free of all pain.
Thank you for your gifts in all shapes and sizes! I love you and always will!
Arlene Eleanor Badalucco
2.7.30 to 6.28.21: (91)