Today I am embarking on a journey to capture and share the last few years with my mom, Judith. We have had many journeys and adventures together, but this one doesn’t require any tickets, or bathing suits, or passports. This journey has required me to manifest more patience and love than I could ever have imagined, especially for her as my parent.
As the disease creeps and worms its way into her brain, as her caregiver I am often hurt by nasty words that are at times hurled toward me as though she is an Olympian throwing a javelin to its mark. As she becomes more child-like with mood swings, irritability, and tantrums, I have felt like I was becoming her mother and she was my child. Other times we have laughed until breathless at her antics.
As she has been slipping through the dementia tunnel, our roles have reversed and irrevocably changed which has me experiencing a myriad of emotions. Sharing my experiences, conversations, and feelings through writing has not only enabled me to stay connected, but at the same time has opened the world of dementia to others allowing caregivers, friends, and family members the ability to have a peek into our world and possibly understand a little of what is happening to themselves and the person who has dementia.
I have received some amazing and supportive feedback asking me to continue writing and sharing because of the difference my words have made to them, whether they know someone who has memory loss or not. Now I am working on writing a book with dreams of a stage production that will give the audience a taste of what it is like to live with someone who has dementia or for those who have some form of memory loss themselves.
I am not the only one who has stories that range from heartbreaking to hilarious and I invite you to be part of this with me. If you feel comfortable, please share with me your stories, thoughts, and feelings.
My endgame is to help destigmatize the disease through theatrical performance that makes people laugh, cry, reflect and walk out of the theatre embracing their personal journey. With nearly 10,000,000 new cases diagnosed in the world every year, our little corner can make a difference for people everywhere.
Wendy and her mom, Judith, sang side-by-side in one of our in-person community choirs in Victoria, BC, prior to the pandemic. Wendy is also a board member with Voices in Motion.
As we recognize September as World Alzheimer’s Month, join Rick Bergh for his podcast, It’s All About the Story, as he interviews Wendy about her vision to break down the stigma of dementia through artistic expression. When? On World Alzheimer’s Day – September 21, 2021. To listen, go to https://griefstories.buzzsprout.com/