Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's a mad world

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere going nowhere

The tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had

I find it hard to tell you
I find hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world

Tears for Fears 1982 -- Mad World

On the train racing through snowy Connecticut. On my way to see a major prospect but consumed by thoughts of the nightmare my mother-in-law is living.

She’s going through the long, slow decent into Alzheimer’s. We brought her out from Florida to be near us so we can care for her and now she is in an assisted living facility. For the first month she was in the Memory Unit while we stabilized her. Surrounded all day by people whose minds have left them. Thankfully we were able to move her to the main facility a week ago.

She has B and C days, sometimes a D day which is heartbreaking and then, on some sunny days an A day.The day before I left was an A day and she was fully aware of what is happening. She spoke quietly with me of the process of losing her mind, losing her short-term memory and how frustrating and frightening it is.

I have been the enemy for 30 years. She forbade Bret to marry me and found fault with everything I did. Now that she is ill and vulnerable I have become a cherished loved one. I am deeply aware of the opportunity to finally build a relationship with her, albeit under cruel circumstances. The illness has taken her temper, taken her criticism, taken her bitchiness. It’s left a young woman with a sense of humor looking forward to finally getting to know her grandchildren. Willing to talk about Studio 54 in the mid 1950’s, about being a beautiful young Swedish girl married to New York doctor 30 years older than her. Wanting to make new friends, wanting to keep her mind.

Each time I go to see her I have a pit in my stomach as I get out of the car. Every time I leave her I have a crush in my chest. It’s a sad, mad world.

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