My mom is losing her speech. It’s noticeable. Actually it’s been noticeable, but now we talk about it. Driving home from our visit on Sunday, Joey and I talked about it. That’s how things happen with us, and I suspect we aren’t that different from you. We notice something. Then we notice it as a pattern. Then we worry about it, and what it means. Then we eventually talk about it.
Something “is” for a long time, but it’s not until we talk about it, out loud to each other, and agree on it, that it “really is.”
And I get why that’s true. Sometimes, as irrational as it is, you want to just live in the space between noticing it silently and noticing it out loud, because once you notice it out loud, you can’t “un-notice it.” And once you notice it out loud, and you confirm that it’s something bad, it means you are once step closer to whatever the next thing is.
For right now it’s losing speech. Not talking…talking in a really loud monotone…slurring sounds instead of making words.
And to sit with that is really awful.
Yet there is something wonderful happening as well. Mom is writing. There is a notebook where the momsitter helps her write notes to me and to Joey. They are short sentences, maybe 2 or 3 per note, but much more than we’d get in conversations with her now.
Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. Decades from now if you ask me what will still have stayed with me about this journey, what my mom taught me about living, it’s about how amazingly adaptable we are. Each loss means a some new way of adapting to it. Some new way she inspires me.