Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time to Let Go

I celebrated Independence Day by tackling a long overdue project .  My mother-in-law passed away in April 2007 from the effects of Alzheimer's Disease.  Although we suspect that she had been ill for quite some time, it was the last two years of her life that were particularly hard on the family.  I wish I had been blogging then!  I don't mean to be flippant, but I find that blogging helps me think through problems and analyze exactly what is going on in my life (and in my mind!)

Because my DH and I were the closest geographically to my MIL, the task of dealing with doctors, health providers, facilities, law enforcement, etc., fell to us.  We are both firstborn, so you can imagine how well we documented everything!  With my secretarial background, Doug's business experience, and our shared tendency to overdo, we ended up with a huge box of files.  I had been reluctant to get rid of these papers thinking that I might try my hand at writing the story of our struggles with Mom and her illness.  I've played around with various ways to put this story into words, even drafting a chapter or two.  I would, however, inevitably walk away when it got too painful.

Yesterday, I decided the story was never going to be written.  It was time to let go of the pain and time to get rid of the papers.

I went through everything page by page one last time to make certain there was nothing of continued value to the family.  I set aside a few things that might have some future relevance as my father-in-law is still alive and active.  The rest is in the "shred" pile.

Surprisingly, the memories came flooding back - the early morning phone calls from my FIL, our frustration that he just didn't accept what was really happening, my acute and searing anger with a system that refused to let us place Mom in a safe and secure environment against her wishes.  How can a victim of Alzheimer's Disease make decisions in their own best interests?  It still amazes me three years later.

The papers are gone.  The anger is not.

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