I often go see my mother-in-law in her apartment (at the assisted living facility.) I went today because I received a call that she bumped her head while falling early this morning and it was protocol to have her go to the hospital to get her checked out. Her head was fine. I called her before I went and she addressed me with my name and asked me to go visit her (and to bring the boys.) I had intended to so the toddler and I went and visited for a while.
I have pictures all over the walls for her. One thing I made for her has all of her kids names and pictures of her kids in order (vertically arranged on the wall.) One picture is of my husband (and the toddler) that is at a lever where it can be seen and touched by little ones. Of course, my toddler went up to it and was pointing to it, saying da-da. She didn't seem to notice. I hinted that the picture is of his dad (and said the name.) It was then that I realized that she didn't know who I was referring to. She read off all the names and then said she wasn't sure which picture was which (even though they were clearly arranged in such a way that it seemed obvious...and she used to know.)
So I asked the hundred million dollar question. I asked if she who I was related to (from the pictures on the wall.) In other words, who am I? Does she know anymore? And the answer, no.
I am a very kind person who will continue to visit her and bring little boys to visit and slather lotion on her hands, wash her clothes, keep her company and talk about the clouds in the sky. I changed the subject as to not make her feel like it mattered that she really didn't know. She mentioned earlier in the week when I visited that she saw me pass by and thought I was the Angel Gabriel and was so happy to see me. I took that as a compliment.
But as I walked out of the building toward my car, I noticed my eyes were a little wet. It's so sad to see so many memories fade away. I wish this wretched disease on nobody and wish there were a cure.