Saturday, May 15, 2010


OK, back to normal today. I think I just needed a couple of days to adjust to my Aunt's decline. I think that what I was upset about can best be seen in the contrast of these two pictures.

I have posted this one before. This is my Aunt just three years ago, at 88.

This is my Aunt this week, at 91.

As marked as this difference is physically, it is even more of a mental decline. The Aunt of the first picture was bright, alert and informed. We would talk for hours about "cabbages and kings." The Aunt of the second picture has lost touch with reality. She lives in a fantasy world and that world is very small. I guess that I should be thankful that she still recognizes me, and that, in her fantasy world, she is very happy and content. But, I've known and loved that first Aunt for my entire life, and, impossible as it is, I want her back.

But, enough about that. I stayed with a friend of my Aunt's. A good friend, who faithfully goes to visit her every week. She finds it very painful, also, but she goes, because she knows that I can't check on her as often as I would like to, and she wants to keep an eye out on what is going on. This is the house I stayed in.

Of course, I love it because it is a home of great serenity, and because it is in the middle of woods!

My Aunt also lives in a beautiful, caring place. She and my Uncle selected it very carefully, years ago. She gets good care there, and is in very beautiful surroundings.

The trips down and back were uneventful. But, as I get older, the nine hours it takes to make the drive gets longer and longer. I was very tired when I got home. Maybe that's why, once I was home, and not on high alert any more, the sadness hit me so hard. I'm usually a very up person, so that type of thing really takes me by surprise.

Damn hard, this whole thing.


IsobelleGoLightly said...

Auntie Dottie's kindness still shines through. Such a beautiful lady.

Sandra said...

She wears the same smile, though. And yes, she is a beautiful lady. It is so hard witnessing our loved ones fading away...

Sharon said...

She still looks good for being 91! You can count your blessings that you have had her a these (extra) years. The circle of life does truly suck, I know. The place they picked to live, seems beautiful and peaceful.

Beautiful pictures!


Lori Skoog said...

It is very difficult to watch, especially when you care so much. Guess we need to appreciate every moment we have. Unfortunately, the aging process is in constant motion...the older we get, the scarier it gets. BUT, while we are living...we have to be positive and BUSY with friends and family. The good news, is that you took the time to bring a little sunshine into your aunt's life.

Tina said...

I can understand your sadness, and yet you are blessed to have her still with you at 91, not a lot of people get to live that long. But I know how upsetting it is to see the decline, because in our mind the people are just always the people they were for us and the way we love them. And yes you are right to count yourself lucky that she recognizes you. When my grandpa was getting older and not in good mental state he didn't even recognized his own daughter anymore, and that was very upsetting to my mom. I was kind of glad being so far away from everybody at times, because I always remember my grandpa the way I knew him all my life, I didn't witness his decline. But of course I missed not being there and seeing him, so it's a double edged sword, like so many things in life. Just treasure the time you got to spend with her on this visit and that she is still with you. Sure looks like a beautiful place, and it's also nice to know that she has a friend to look after her so lovingly. As for your aunt, what a sweet lady, no wonder you are so fond of her.

AJ-OAKS said...

No wonder your heart is aching. By the sounds of it your Auntie is happy. Much better to be happy that to be in pain and depressed.
I bet she has/had amazing stories to share. You are so blessed to have her in your life and the bond you both share.
She is a true beauty. Her smile is wonderful.