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What Will You do When I am Gone? | Alzheimer’s in the First Person | Barbara Taylor Vaughan

What will you do when I am gone?

I asked Missy today, “What will you do when I am gone?” I asked her this while she was giving me my morning bath. I love my morning baths. She is so gentle with my brittle old body, rubbing lotion on and powdering me with my favorite smells when we are done, and a spray of my favorite perfume. I am so much a part of her life now, she is with me 24 hours a day. I can not imagine how she will handle my death. I was with my husband 24 hours a day before he died, but that was just for 6 weeks. Missy has been with me now for almost 2 years, with no break, every day she has taken care of me, she even sleeps with me now because I get up every hour during the night. “How will you spend all your free time?”

I asked her, “Will you know how to sleep all night anymore? Do you think Mike will let you sleep in his bed again? Just think you will probably be able to eat a meal without me interrupting you and asking you to take me to the restroom. Will you go on a lot of trips and go shopping everyday? Will you call your friends up on the spur of the moment and tell them to meet you for lunch? Will you and Mike get up at midnight and decide to drive to another state for breakfast like you used to do? Will you go camping and hiking with your friends? Just think of all the things you will be able to do when I am not here.”

She just looked at me and smiled…I worry about her after I am gone. She loves me, I am her mommy, she is my little girl. I still remember the day my mom died and how the air was sucked from my body. I remember Missy handling everything for me, because I just couldn’t believe my mom was gone. Missy called everyone, Missy made arrangements. I worry about her when I am gone..she doesn’t have a Missy.

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