I have spent the last few days cleaning my Aunt's house and getting it ready for sale. There will also be an "estate sale" in the next month or so in order to get rid of the contents accumulated over a 60 year marriage.
It has been a long haul, these days of sorting, cleaning, dumping, and saving.
My aunt has Alzheimer's, a sad diagnosis in itself. To think that I will lose her soon - not physically but mentally and emotionally - is daunting, to say the least. I had a conversation with an old friend recently. She is the major caregiver for her mother, who also has Alzheimer's. Her mother no longer recognizes her, and my friend's heartache is acute.
As I go through my Aunt's personal belonging, a clearer picture emerges. It is heartbreaking to see the attempts she made to keep track of things after my uncle died last summer. Heartbreaking to see how often her mind failed her in significant ways. Heartbreaking to know that she was/is aware that she needs to be responsible but that she is no longer capable of thinking clearly enough to do that.
And what do I say when I return home to Idaho with so much of her stuff? She will want to go home, but that isn't possible anymore. Do I tell her that she has Alzheimer's and that she will one day cease to know me? I want so much for her to know how much I love her and that she will always be secure with me watching over her. But would telling her just be a selfish act on my part? She is, after all, God's child - perhaps it is best to leave the knowledge of her condition with Him?