Every once in a while, my boyfriend at the time would come along with me on a visit. My mom still sat at the same table with the same people, and I had gotten close to all of them. I had many conversations with all of them at this point. Kris would sit there with me and they adored him. 

They were unable to watch dvd’s at this point. They had a VHS player but not a DVD player. Kris was donating one. They were very excited about it.  

Kris went over to the television to set it up for them. I had brought some special DVD’s for them to watch. I think Kris enjoyed having something like this to do. It was hard visiting. When someone hadn’t been there much it is even harder. The things I overlook can be shocking and depressing to people. 

That is actually one of the big issues with going through something like this. Nobody truly understands what you are going through unless they have also gone through it. This is like nothing else you will ever experience. The range of emotions that go along with caring for a loved one as they travel the swift decline that is dementia is not for the faint of heart. There are many people that can simply not handle it. I choose not to judge them for that. I admit it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. I had one big reason to do it, one big reason that drove me on the worst, most heart-wrenching days, one big reason that I showed up and smiled and did every single thing I possibly could to bring joy to my mother and to be her very best advocate. That reason was love. She gave me life, the least I could do is take care of her for whatever time she has left on this earth. No sacrifice is really too big when you think of it this way. 

I have many scars from the journey with me mother. I have many bad memories. I have many sad memories. I also have joyous memories, though. I have moments that mean more to me than anything bad that I went though. Those moments, those are the reason that I kept on coming back, that I worked so hard to find things to stimulate my mother on visits, to exercise her brain and bring her joy. I have no regrets for these years with her. I have no regrets at all. I was present and I gave her every ounce of my love.

Once the TV was set up we put in a DVD and sat down with her to watch it. I chose one of her favorite old epic movies to put in. It was the afternoon, though, and her attention span was not quite there. She had started sundowning and there was no way she was going to pay attention to the movie. We stayed and talked for a while. She glanced at the movie off and on, but she wasn’t able to focus. She had enough stimulation for the day so we said out goodbyes soon afterwards, with the hopes that she would enjoy the movie once we were not there to distract her. It was always hard to say goodbye but I would be back the next day.

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