- 3 years ago
Technically I’m a “Waiting Bee” (ha, that seems so weird) since SO & I have agreed on being engaged in next 6 months. You all were so helpful with my question a few days ago so I thought I’d run this one by you….
My mother has had dementia for probably 5 years. It got debilitating about 2 yrs ago, my dad tried to keep her home & hired a day caretaker but eventually she was moved to a Nursing Home for Alzheimer’s a year ago. He goes to visit her 3x a week (he’s 81, she’s 78) and has been in 100% denial about it. She hasn’t recognized me in over a year. Everytime I go visit her, I end up getting really upset….heck, I’m crying while I write this now. I was her youngest child (out of 4) & only daughter, she was 44 when she had me. We were more like friends… she knew everything about me, my friends adored her, they’d hang out with her when I wasn’t even home! My brothers too have a really hard time visiting & seeing her, we all just can’t believe this brilliant women who constantly was watching news and politics and always had a dictionary and a newspaper in her hand, is now essentially a child. She can’t eat by herself, she can’t use the bathroom by herself… and my poor dad is like “oh yeah, she’s doing great!”. Poor man, I love him to pieces and he’s such an amazing husband and so devoted but he is almost illogical when it comes to her condition.
Because of this, and my aversion to attention & hating a lot of eyes on me…. I know that SO & I will have a small wedding. I’d like 50 but since his parents are divorced and we’re juggling 3 sets of parents, it may be more like 60-70.
My dad has already offered to give me money (for no reason, he downsized his house and then helped my brother buy a new airconditioning, so he felt he had to offer me a similiar amount, lol) and I told him to keep it and maybe we’d use it toward a wedding if that were to happen. (Don’t want to jinx anything!) He seemed to like that idea.
I love my mother but I know myself and how I react after I visit her, and it’s not good. SO caught on to my moods and now he’ll surprise me with my favorite wine or a bag of kit kats or a card whenever I go to see her just to cheer me up. He’s such a prince. But, I just get quiet, stoic, go into a cleaning frenzy (weird anxiety/destress habit), want a glass of wine & sleep. I know it wouldn’t do me (or my brothers) any good to have her at the wedding, which kills me but I can’t even imagine how brokenhearted I’d be to think she wouldn’t even recognize me on my wedding day.
Logistically, she could not be managed alone, so a caretaker would have to accompany her, she’d have to be driven and likely stay overnight at a hotel since the city we live and her nursing home is over an hour away. And she was the proudest woman in so many ways, I KNOW FOR A FACT she would never allow anyone to see her in her current state. My mother wouldn’t leave her bedroom without lipstick on, there is no way she’d want people to see her now.
I’m so worried that my father is going to insist on this. And I have a weird feeling that although my 3 aunts (my mom’s 3 sisters) are very levelheaded, that they would want her there as well. Everytime I go to see her, my dad tries to get her to remember me and my brother, and it’s the most heart breaking thing. She just stares at me, with a smile, so cluelessly, and waits for someone to tell her who I am. Even then she’ll say “no, that’s not my daughter”. After 45 minutes of visiting, she always falls asleep. I need everyone to understand that for HER, she will have no idea what day it is, who the chick in the white dress is and over half of the attendees… it will be taking her out of her comfort zone, putting her in front of tons of people and freaking her out. If she was still coherent, I’d have her there in a heartbeat but she’s not… and to get myself all upset on my wedding day to appease my dad’s denial seems ridiculous.
My thought was that we’d visit her the day before — maybe before the Rehearsal, when we’re dressed up, and do a lunch or something at her nursing home, with my dad, brothers and aunts. I could have someone videotape the ceremony or Facetime with one of the employees there. I dunno.
It breaks my heart but I want to make sure that this is something I discuss before we accept any contribution from my father. I feel like if we accept, we also have to agree to his demands andI know this would be the only thing he’d ask for. I hope I am not coming across cold hearted and selfish, probably am, but I’ve grieved for my mom, the woman who raised me. And seeing her now just sends me into a spiral.
Anyone have similiar experience or issues?