Key West or Bust……………… OR How To Drive Cross Country with your Mother who has Alzheimers!



For the next several weeks I will be telling you a few of my stories about a trip I decided to take while my Mother could still remember it.  WELL that was a fantasy!  She didn’t even know who SHE was by the end of the first day!  Hopefully this story will inspire others or at least let them know they are NOT the only ones out there trying to do the best they can while learning to cope with a truly insane situation!  ALZHEIMERS !

As you may have read, about a year ago my daughter Victoria moved to Key West.  Since the day she left my Mother has been asking” have you heard from Tori?” , ” I would sure like to see where Tori lives” ,  ” Why don’t we go visit Tori?”   When I say asking I mean ASKING!  OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, because she has no memory of asking 10 seconds ago.  So I got this idea in my head to take her to see where Tori lives.  I also thought since we had lived 19 different places as I was growing up we could go by some of those and let her see them too.  My husband and traveling companion Robert called it the farewell tour.

Day one: We drove to Nashville, Tennessee.  We had rented a transporter wheelchair to make this easy.  (we thought)  So here we are in the German Town section of Nashville at the German Town Cafe.  I thought some yummy German food ( my Mother ‘s maiden name was Baumeister) would be a great beginning to our trip.  SURE.  So imagine my surprise when they had no German food at the German Town Cafe in GERMAN TOWN beyond some spatzel and cabbage that came with the duck breast!  On top of that we asked if they could just give us a half order for my Mother.  They absolutely refused to do that because they want all of the food to look the same????? WHAT ??? I kept insisting that we would be happy to pay full price just don’t give us a full order.  AGAIN refusal.  Then I said can you give us half of it to go?  Then you can give half to the homeless folks in the neighborhood.  HE was incredulous!  NO homeless people at all in the area.  BULL$hit!!!  As we were walking to the restaurant there was a homeless lady pushing her shopping cart right down the street next to us.

Then………..things………………….Strange!  Spooky Strange!   My mother went somewhere I had never seen her go.  She was in some alternate reality, some parallel universe!  She was agitated and wanted me to call her mother or sister to see if she could stay with us.  She wanted to know if it was ok not to be home early. Some how she allowed us to call Victoria who told her it was ok to stay out with us.  THIS HAD NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.  CREEPY to have your Mother who in so many ways isn’t even your Mother any  more go way out there into the other realms of the Universe.  That totally freaked me out!  We stopped at the first hotel we could then my husband went to the liquor store and bought some wine!!!

Every so often during the night I would here her whispering………..Debbie………….debbie………. d e b b i e ………..  CREEPY!  The next morning she was fine.  There was no talk at Shoney’s where we went for breakfast about needing to call her mother.  THANK GOD!  So on we went to Chattanooga.

About Debbie Greene

Turned 60! Now comes the third act! From here to 90 I am ready to experience all the fun life has to offer! More of what I want! Time spent with the Grands! Time spent in nature and most of the time with a camera in hand as I record the world around me - THROUGH DEBBIE'S EYES!
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