When my mom had a really sharp decent into her disease(FTD), it was caused by an odd thing. $50 cash given to her as a Christmas gift. She was obsessed with it, and also obsessed with the fact that if she lost or misplaced it…well, someone stole it. This was not the start of this disease, by far the most significant and traumatic part of it up until that point.
It was just after Christmas 2015, and weeks after I saw my mom – who was not herself but still kind of “there,” she was unhinged. My dad had no choice but to take her to the hospital where she was placed under psychiatric watch. She swore, kicked, and screamed. I thank God that I have yet to see her this way, and feel deeply for my family members who have. My sister was with my Dad in Kansas City those days, as was my Aunt Greg. To hear about it over the phone and FaceTime was just unreal.
Days after this happened I was walking in Vancouver up Robson street. Behind me was a woman who was talking to no one in particular. The woman was likely homeless, or displaced. She was ranting about how someone took her money, she knew it, they took it and were hiding it from her.
Like a ton of bricks I thought “if it were not for my dad, Aunt, sister…this would be my mom.” All of a sudden years of misconceptions about the homeless were shattered – just. like. that. I was overwhelmed and sad for this woman. She likely didn’t have anyone to take care of her, like my mom has. My mom has an army. Between my dad and my Aunt Greg and Uncle Johnny – there are us, her kids, her nieces and nephews, friends, and members of the church they attend in Farmington that help. Without these people, we would be lost. My mom may have ended up like that woman on the street, the millions of women on the street…people on the street.
That day I was taught a lesson in judgement, and it was a painful lesson that I wish I could have learned a million other ways. But I learned it that way, imaging my dementia ridden mother alone, on the streets, wondering who stole her money.
“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
PS – I was just back in Farmington, NM visiting my mom and family, and I cannot praise the people who care for my mom enough. Thank you for all you do, for us and for my dear momma. I wanted to move “home” (one of my many lol) and be there with you all. New Mexico will forever have a special place in my heart.