I’m on my way to see my Mother and Step-Father at the assisted living facility where they have lived for the past three years. I’ve taken great care in dressing this morning since I’m meeting with an administrator to discuss their care: past, present and future. Actually, since they will both be 89 years old this year, I think of their care needs only  in three-month time periods. What will be discussed today is not to be considered long-term.  It will be for…a while.


Their home is about 60 miles away from where I live. On a good day the drive is about 1 ½ hours long. On a bad traffic day it can take three hours coming or going. Or more. I take my dog, Babe, with me on these visits. She is excited that she gets to come because, well just because she‘s a dog. She thinks that anytime she’s in the car our destination is going to open avenues of adventure and be great fun, not only for her but for me, as well.  Today perhaps not so much.

Thirty miles into the drive I notice how tight my bra has become. That’s strange because it wasn’t uncomfortable when I dressed this morning. Question to myself: what did I have for breakfast that made me assume a weight gain of 10 pounds in what…less than a day?  No.  Make that just hours?

Not a clue. Thought  is dismissed. Comfort level remains constricted.

My Step-Father’s memory is slowly sinking into that abyss of darkness feared by many: Alzheimer’s Disease. His daily needs are wearing my Mother into the ground as her attempts to keep him with her physically and mentally are failing.  The physical-ness of moving a large man around a small apartment, especially getting him to the toilet on time, is now more than she can manage.  There are other things. Himself talking to me on the telephone but holding the phone upside down.  Not being the fun and exasperating man he used to be.  The fun part is gone. The exasperating part now magnified.  Trying to keep him with her mentally is exhausting.  She can see him but he can’t see her. He was once so vital and still is, but in an empty way.  Mother perceives his slide into that place he cannot share with her, and is now fearful of her own unknown.

Himself has forgotten that he did not want to die first leaving Mother all alone.  This is her fright now.

I’m not going to be able to alleviate most of her fears today. What is going to happen today is to try to make Mother’s life more…simple. It will get less of a life soon enough. Eventually, and all on it’s own.

I think I’ve figured out why my bra is too tight.

I’m trying to keep myself together.

17 thoughts on “MY BRA IS TOO TIGHT…

  1. Jots,
    I wasn’t sure I would have been able to read through this, once I started seeing all that talk about “miles”, and foreign talk…
    Le Clown


  2. As the daughter of a father who died of Alzheimer’s and a mother who now sinks into dementia, I was deeply nudged by this post. Now I know why things feel too tight sometimes ~ like you, I’m trying too hard to keep things together.
    Thank you.


  3. Maybe I’ll just leave the bra off when I check on my 89 year old mother-in-law who lives close by. Neither one of us will no the difference. I can relate to the description of the three month periods. You’re right, we can’t plan much further than that. Touching personal description on aging and the …unknown. I wish you the best.


    1. Like El Guapo said…”having no experience…makes it impossible to imagine”…

      Visiting my parents can be similar to running with great speed head on into a brick wall.


      The crash of reality either takes your breath away….or brings you to your knees.

      On the positive side we all (meaning “us”) have good days and better days. So do Mom & Dad.

      Thank you. All. Sincerely.


  4. You touched me. It is a hard thing to face caring for your parents, and one nobody sees coming. If you were here i would certainly offer hugs, but I can at least send positive thoughts to you.


  5. Like you say above, having no experience with it makes it impossible to imagine.
    Really hope the meeting went well.
    And glad you and your mother have each other to help…each other.


  6. The bra really tied it all together…
    (Sorry, I had to get that off my chest)…
    (Sorry, that too)…
    It did add an air of humor and human warmth to the story. It ‘supported’ the story and ‘lifted’ it higher. It ‘separated’ two distinct … OK, I swear I am done now.
    My Dad died of Parkinson’s. I wish I had thought to wear tight boxers to help hold myself together.


  7. Sad, Alzheimer’s is. My paternal grandmother had it and it looked as if one of her daughter’s was showing signs of it.

    I hope your meeting went well.


    1. Thank you for the response, TM. Such a journey this Alzheimer Road. Until personally touched by the grip of it…one can only imagine. The reality of Alzheimer’s in a family member or friend, as you know, only brings that black hole closer to home.

      Brighter side: your posts and art inspire me to a higher ground. Thanks.


  8. Missy,
    You remain and are included in my Three Sweetest of Sweet-Teas!! Always. Forever. Love you, Ma’am R.


  9. I wish I could give you all the hugs I have in person. But today, pixels on a computer screen will have to do. I know you are exhausted both mentally and physically after these visits, but if you ever want to just sit and talk, have coffee, whatever, give me a holler when you are in town.


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