I remember it being a very difficult weekend. It probably would have been in the top ten worst weekends of my adult life. But who wants to keep track of such things.
I don’t think that I could adequately describe how it feels to take care of a loved one that is suffering and dying from dementia. It was different from being a caregiver for my autistic brother, Matt. Sure, they both had good days and bad days. With Grace it was a gradual decline. Most days I didn’t recognize her anymore than she recognized me. I grieved for her while she will still living because she was already gone.
I was exhausted to the point of where I thought I could no longer hold on to the loose strings of my sanity. I hadn’t slept. Dealing with sleep deprivation was never a strong suit of mine. My patience was running thin. I was worn down.
It was one of those weekends that Aunt Grace was up every hour during the night. I “slept” on the couch right outside of her bedroom. Just when I was almost back to sleep, she would be up again. The kids would be up in a few hours and I hadn’t slept yet. I was having a hard time.
As I was walking with Grace to the bathroom, she looked right at me and asked me my name. I replied, “My name is Alissa.” Aunt Grace looked at me and responded, “I once knew a girl by the name of Alissa. She was a very kind and caring girl. I think that if you met her, you would really like her.” She was talking about me without knowing who I was.
I think at that very moment, God was looking down upon me with mercy. He gave me a glimmer of light to help guide me down a dark road. It was such a meaningful blessing to me that it motivated me to finish the race strong. It was exactly what I needed to get through.
I will never forget that moment.