5: Me and the Night Don’t Get Along

5: Me and the Night Don’t Get Along

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias

Me and the Night Don’t Get Along

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.

~Author Unknown

My mom has Alzheimer’s. It sucks. I think she is past the scariest part — realizing she is “losing her mind.” When her symptoms first began to show, she was scared, paranoid, forgetful, and irritable. She knew something was happening. At first I thought it was just my mom being dramatic. But looking back a few years, her behavior was strange. And soon it became clear she was slipping away.

When she was in the early stage of the disease, I called to check in one evening and she said quietly, “Me and the night don’t get along.” My mother had never been afraid to go out alone at night. And she walked everywhere — she never had a driver’s license. But now she needed someone with her all the time to feel safe.

“Me and the night don’t get along” — that’s quite the lyric. My mother was as witty as they come. She wrote tons of poems and parodies of songs. Mostly they were for co-workers leaving for another job, for castmates at the close of a show, or for my sisters’ bosses or workmates. She would whip something up in an evening. She could do it all. Of course she had raised nine kids, too, which sums it up.

Now she’s past the fear, and she’s peaceful. She eats well and is in a nice nursing home. But it’s still a nursing home. I think she still knows she has some kind of disease, but she has moments of peace.

I don’t like to say was because she still is. She is still sweet and interested in what you’re saying. Her quick wit is still there. The one-liners. Her laugh. Her wink. She can still sing all the “golden oldies” from the ’40s and ’50s verbatim.

And that’s what makes me believe there is still a person in there. A light. A soul. A living, breathing, human being.

And that’s what breaks my heart.

~Joey McIntyre

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