I went to Atria yesterday, because I wanted to give the latest news about Peach to my mother personally, not over the phone. I've said this before and will probably say it again, but one of the most difficult things for me about her dementia is the disconnect with her emotions. It is so hard for me to deliver sad (or happy, for that matter) news to her and have her have almost no reaction.
Our dialog yesterday went something like:
ME: "Peach heard that she has stage 3 cancer and will have to start chemotherapy."
HER: "Oh dear. Well life goes on, whether you want it to or not." Then she looked over a a cabinet where there was a bouquet of roses that had been given to her this week, and totally dismissing the news about Peach she said, "Look at those flowers. They are dying. They were beautiful, but now they're dying."
I'm not sure whether my tears were for Peach or for the fact that my mother and I could not discuss Peach's upcoming chemotherapy treatment and her fears about it. Once she had digested the news, she was no longer interested. We sat there for awhile longer, talking about how old she is, how all of her siblings are gone, and how it can't be cold outside (it was) because the leaves on the trees were not moving, so it must be hot and how she didn't watch the World Series because she somehow forgot it was on in between the time I called her and the time she walked back to her chair after hanging up (so I didn't bother to call her yesterday).
It was one of those days where I needed to have my mother to talk to, and couldn't bear to be with this person who looked and sounded like my mother, but who wasn't the mother I needed. I know it's not her fault and I will be fine when I see her next time, but I cut my visit short, went out to the parking lot, and sat in the car to have a little cry. (I seem to be having these "little cry" moments this week.)