Yesterday I was talking on the phone to one of Mom's dear friends, JT. A woman who has known her for twenty-plus years. They have been through a lot of life together. I think of JT as the "big sister" that Mom never had. I know that Mom loves JT like a sister too.
JT is a wise woman, a sage woman. She was one of the few people that Mom would listen to, Mom would take her criticisms seriously, as dementia was taking hold of her behaviors and words.
JT visits Mom often, they reminisce about the old times, they share the latest news about their friends, they play cards, take walks around the grounds, they go out for lunch. JT was always so good at "being with Mom where she is" and steering the conversation to calm and good thoughts.
All that has changed, dementia has drawn another curtain down between them, Mom has turned a corner.
I was talking on the phone with JT. She was SO sad.
"When I leave your Mother, I sit in my car and cry."
"Me too, me too."
She was so full of grief, she has lost her dear friend, the bonds they shared, the connections, the history.
I know my Mother recognizes JT as a friend and a stable person in her life, because she will look at JT, when she is lost or confused, like a deer frozen in the headlights. She is looking at JT for the answers, any answer, some answer, some piece to cling to. Because JT has always been a rational, warm, and strong friend.
I know JT will continue to visit Mom. She is loving like that. But it will be hard, harder than before.