My mother in law is only 80 years old but over the past two weeks, she’s turned into somewhat of an invalid crouched in her wheelchair, busy in her own world of characters speaking in a language that is half hers and half theirs.   My heart breaks as I think of this woman before the disease ravaged her brain and body.

We may not have always agreed on things with one another but we seemed to have a good understanding of our comparable lives without ever having to say a word. The religion, the family, the animosity.

 She was a meticulous dresser, always coordinated, always looking sharp, always looking like a Queen in her role doing the right thing for her family.  Working long hours in a job that kept her on her feet all day until she returned home and started her night time job as a wife.

Life is not always fair, as I know all too well.  When she was first diagnosed with the Lewy Body disease, I don’t think any of us thought of it as anything more than another word for Alzheimers.  We expected her to forget things, forget where she puts things and maybe in ten years, she would have trouble recognizing us.  But from the time of diagnosis, it seemed to appear that we overlooked alot of little changes in her personality until everything seemed to be moving in fast forward.

In reading the material on this disease, I can now recognize her on the pages.  We who look at her, think she is terribly frightened or lost in her own world but the reality is, she is in a world where she seems to know everyone and they know her.  She feeds them and herself, she sews, she cooks and she socializes in her world.   We, looking in, are frightened by the prospects of losing her to another world that does not feel comforting to us, yet somewhat comforting to her.

There are moments of her being lucid and seems to be with us for a moment or two but her heart takes her back to where her life appears to have settled.  Though I am only a daughter in law, I feel as though I never had a chance to say goodbye.  My heart breaks for her and her family but she is somewhat content and we are somewhat lost and in fear.  We fear we have lost her, we fear we may never again see the woman who was once here.   Yet we also fear that this may be our destination as well.

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