In this alternative universe, time has no meaning and reality is seen through lenses fogged by someone else’s memories. We cannot really be in this play; there are too many parts to try out for.
Rather, we can be Alice and roam around this Wonderland full of creatures that are unlike any we have ever encountered before. But be careful; this Wonderland is as much Hell as it is magical. I would tell you to be prepared, but that would be laughable if not for the horror of this truth.
My beloved Mother is somewhere in this land of unreality. She was walking strong and independent, always looking to work, to help, to fill any need, a spitfire full of life, full of love, full of spunk and spirit. A warrior in her own right who was the honored head of this ragtag family of ours that she treasured so much.
Until she was taken.
Unlike Alice, she didn’t willingly follow a rabbit down the hole. She was grabbed unceremoniously and without consent by the jagged, ripped, consuming teeth of Alzheimer’s and forced down a hole where she can’t find her home. She wanders unfamiliar halls in her mind; trying to find the sanctuary she so loved. It is gone.
Oh, we show her pictures of the past; pictures that reflect the room in which she sits, but the ability to make the connection, to find the solace of familiarity has been forever taken from her.
She calls out for my father, who has been gone for fourteen years. She seeks her father and her mother. She looks at me, her daughter, and sees many characters, and I play the hell out of each part. Sometimes I am my father, sometimes I am my daughter, at times I am my niece, but most often I am the unfamiliar caretaker who she really does not like very much, but I will never, ever be her daughter; the one who loves her beyond measure.
I look at her and the companion tears swim in my eyes. I see us as we used to be, riding around with no destination, music on, enjoying each moment. She looks at me and sees me as her enemy, one who is holding her hostage in a place that is unforgiving in its torment, unfamiliar, unclear, unhappy and full of pain and loss. How could she love that?
Just let me go home. Take me home. I need to find my home, as she paces the rooms in which she has lived for sixty years.
How will this end?
Maybe I should ask Alice, but I don’t have time. I am still wandering in this place in search of my mother. I refuse to believe that she is nothing but this disease. She must still be in there somewhere. I search for her soul behind those eyes which show nothing but fear now. I seek the fire of her spirit underneath the cutting words that spew from the lips of this demon disease. That is not my mother, but I know she is in there. The warrior, the fearless warrior who is fighting behind walls none of us can see.
Don’t give up on me, Mother. I am coming.
I love you.
Defeat Alzheimer‘s disease.