I walked into our local florist today. Exactly ten years after one sad day, a month and five days since my last post, and ten minutes after sitting alone in a restaurant eating breakfast … I entered into an array of color. Expecting to buy a small spray of forget-me-nots, they had none. My vase of expectation remained empty as I left, but hope is never defeated.
It will take a few hours to re-visit the small blue flowers because I must attend to my business. It is a difficult day. Ten years ago, mom died from cancer. She is one of two small – never to be forgotten – flowers I expected to have close to me now. The other? A recognition of the shrinking brain known as dementia. Forget-me-nots are the symbol of this slow moving disease that slowly peels away reason and sense from those we love.
Within the beautiful arrangement that is my life now, I have a recognition of a life gone from cancer and a life present with dementia. Two wonderful flowers in a vase on my mantle today.
There’s no denying a reality. What is … is. Conversations repeated, forgotten sentences, anger over recognized loss – yet a small understanding, still, of a diagnosis in the early stage … all of this in a bouquet known as dementia. A reality so many experience daily. I am understanding this path with every inhaled scent and sensibility I can gather as two of us walk together. We are pals. We are stemmed together, yet trying to maintain our independence at the same time.
It is difficult. Especially today, it is hard.
Does he remember that day ten years ago? Is it meaningful? Is a forget-her-not in there somewhere? I believe it is … and he should water that memory as best he can.
I have my sad – and wonderful memories – of that day. I always say, “When mom died, it was the best day of my life. I started a new journey, … a new me. She was exceptional. A fantastic mom. That said, I had to grow up. My biggest supporter (and crutch) was gone.” I began anew. The past ten years would not have been what they were had mom not died.
Do I miss her? ABSOLUTELY!! Do I miss the “old” me? No.
So, here life is. Two forget-me-nots – not in a physical vase yet. No picture to show here … just words. Words one will never hear again and another may hear, but not fully understand.
I am ok with both.
I’m not ok having over a month go by without writing a blog entry, however. It is life, though, and quite acceptable when gaps in a shrinking brain require my attention.
Dementia sucks. Cancer sucks. That said, I do intend on keeping hope alive later today. Forget me not as I press on toward finding small blue flowers of hope.