I didn’t choose the family to be born in. I didn’t choose the mother that would have me. I didn’t choose for her to develop Alzheimer’s disease in her 60’s.
Mom chose to have children, but she couldn’t choose if she would have a son or a daughter. I am quite sure that she didn’t choose to have Alzheimer’s.
Watching my mom progress through the varying stages of this disease has taught me so much. Today I am writing about how I can choose my view, because it is something that I continually watch her do.
I have read countless personal development books. I have attended seminars and conventions. I have associated with people that are on a consistent growth journey.
Yet there is something about being around someone that is going through trauma, and still chooses to be joyful that mystifies me.
I know that we get what we picture. I can quote you quotes that encapsulate the recipe for success by envisioning. I can suggest books and audios that explain how important it is to see what we want our future to be.
I am fully aware that if I don’t define where I am going, that I won’t ever know when I have gotten there.
So, why then am I surprised each time I am met with my mother’s positive attitude?
Let me share an example with you.
We were riding home from church one evening, about 3 years ago. Ken (my husband) was driving. Mom was looking around. We had driven this route a number of times. Suddenly she says that she doesn’t know where she is. She just speaks it as a statement, all calm and rational. Then she told us that it was time for her to give up her license and to no longer drive. She said that she wasn’t about to take a chance on hurting someone else out on the road because of her confusion.
Just like that, she gave up her independence. There was no fighting, no tears, no anger.
She owned a minivan at the time. We gave it to my brother, up in Ohio, so that later in the confusion that Alzheimer’s brings she wouldn’t be upset to see her van and be told that no she couldn’t drive it.
In the time since her announcement, she periodically mentions that she hasn’t driven for a long time; but not once have we dealt with any issue about her not driving.
Mom chose to view this as handing over the keys to keep others safe, rather than giving up her right to drive.
Can I honestly say that I would see it that way? No, I don’t think I am there yet. I hope one day to be able to always see the bright side, like she does.