Thursday, November 12, 2015



In seven weeks I will be arriving in Florida to spend a month visiting mom at the nursing home. It has been a while since I have seen her and, with much excitement, my countdown has begun. I can hardly wait to hug, kiss and hold her hand in mine.

My quick three day trips had become less meaningful. For mom, as well as myself and husband, being able to spend a significant amount of time with her really made a difference. Each day mom became more alive as she reminisced about her parents and her own childhood.

When I recently questioned the head of nursing she said that mom has not changed much since I last saw her. In some ways Alzheimer's has not stolen more of her "soul".

Over the weekend I was able to speak to mom and actually see her on my cell phone. It was such a thrill for me yet unfortunately for mom (having macular degeneration) she could not see me. We were able to share how much we loved and missed one another, and without me even asking, she threw me her kisses.

Catching each other's kisses at the end of each phone call is something we use to do every single day for years. After mom entered the facility one of the things I missed greatly was getting her kisses each and every day. The kisses I so cherished.

Knowing that she has no concept of time or reality, I still shouted with joy that I would be seeing her in a few days. Mom quickly repeated this to my sister-in-law with much enthusiasm and delight in her voice as she then decided to stand up and walk away; as if I was not even on the phone.

I know that this was just a few seconds of clarity for her. Yet I am amazed that she can still have these moments even after eleven years of this illness.

As she disappeared from the camera in her Merry Walker and the phones were disconnected my heart was bursting with all the love I feel for her. In many ways I am so proud that she is my mother.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



October 25th,1942 my mother & father were married. I never questioned them about their wedding and sadly, today, I have no one left to ask. I wonder if they had a big party. Was it in Brooklyn where my mom grew up, or was it on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where my dad was raised? From this picture I know that mom wore a beautiful wedding dress and held a lovely bouquet of flowers. Neither one of their families had much money so their celebration could not have been fancy or extravagant.

Realizing this, I just phoned my brother to see if he remembers anything. He did not answer his cell phone so, in a panic, I sent him a text and asked him to call me ASAP. I didn't want him to worry, so I mentioned that everything was okay. I just needed to ask him something. My brother just returned my call, he also knew nothing about mom & dad's wedding day.

My reaction surprises me, since all of a sudden the facts and details about their wedding day is so important to me. Is it because all the history of my parent's lives will shortly be gone; or due to mom's disease it has already disappeared?

I was married two times and for neither one did I walk "down the aisle". I never remember mom giving her opinion or saying very much about her own wedding. Could I have been so caught up in my decision that I never bothered to listen?

Today I yearn to hear my parents tell me all about their lives. I could sit intently with a quest and hunger to listen to every word they had to say.  Without realizing it I took for granted that my parents would always be around to tell me about their dreams, their desires and their lives.

Mom can no longer tell me much about anything since she now has Alzheimer's. If I could ask her one question it would be, mom can you tell me about your wedding day? Unfortunately I now know there is no answer.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Thursday, October 15, 2015




In less than three months I will be back in Florida to spend some valuable time with my mom. As the countdown begins I feel a conflict of emotions; excitement, since I will be able to see her every day, and nervousness wondering what she will be like.

I wonder why, when I think of her, my feelings of love and queasiness go hand in hand. Her world seems to have stopped as if the arms of a clock were frozen in time. Why can't I just except what her "new "world now consists of ?

As her daughter and caregiver I seem to envision what I would not want for her. If mom had a looking glass before, and had known what her life would have looked like, would she have asked me to "save" her from this world; a universe of Alzheimer's and a world that is still so unknown ?

Alzheimer's has different stages and although mom has been in stage 6 for some time now, she  appears as she did a year ago. It is over eleven years since she has dementia. Is this good or bad? Is she one of the lucky ones ? It is all how one looks at it. I believe that mom is not suffering so then I feel that, given this disease, this is all that I can ask for.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like not to know where you are, what day it is, if the sun is shining, or if it is raining? What did you eat for dinner last night and how did you spend your day? What is your favorite movie or what book did you just finish? These are the simple everyday things of life that most of us take for granted. Can you imagine not knowing any of these answers?

I question, who is the one truly suffering? Is it my mom or is it me? I think we as caregivers know that answer. Yet there is nothing we can do. I ,like you, sit and wait. Fortunately I still cherish her smiles, her laughter and as each days go by, me in my world, and mom in her "new" world, I take a deep breath and keep moving on.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Friday, October 2, 2015



My son got married this past weekend and my husband and I are still floating on "cloud nine". The wedding took place in Martha's Vineyard which is a 5 hour car ride from my home in New York City. We were away for five days to celebrate this joyous occasion with family and friends.

Mom would have been so happy and proud. Logan was the "love of her life," and also the only grandchild she ever had. I wore a bracelet to the wedding that my mom had given me so I could feel that she was somehow with us.

Since mom has Alzheimer's and lives in Florida we knew that it would be impossible for her to come. I did not call the nursing home for five days, although I had notified them that my brother and I would be away. I knew that if anything happened they would immediately contact one of us. 

After returning home from Logan's & Julia's wedding I quickly phoned the nursing home. They told me that mom was doing well and I shared with the nurse about my son's wedding and asked her to please go tell my mom. As I hung up the phone, my eyes became watery, as I wiped away my tears.

Maybe mom would understand for a split second, yet I realized, poof it would all be gone. I knew that there would be no pictures for her to glow over, or any memories of the special times they once had shared.

A sadness came over me as I realized how she is locked away, not knowing any of the joyous parts of the world she once lived in. I thought, is this the life that she would want to be living? If I had the power would I be able to end it for her?

I shared this with my Alzheimer Support Group yesterday, and what I was left with, is that death is so final. I would no longer be able to hold her hand, touch her cheek or see her smile. Could it now be that what I have wished for, may not be, what I really truly want.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.


Friday, September 18, 2015




I wanted to share with you that next Saturday Sept 26th your one and only grandchild will be getting married. I know how much love you had for Logan and how very much you adored him. As his grandmother you would have been so proud to see what a truly wonderful young man he has become, as well as loving Julia, his bride to be.

I know that daddy would have felt the same, yet he has been gone for over twenty years. You're different, for you, are still alive. You may be living in your "own" world yet I wanted to somehow share with you their special Wedding Day.

You will be with me, if only in spirit, as they say their vows. I will keep you tucked in my soul and close to my heart feeling your smiles of happiness and abundance of love you have for them. As we raise our glasses to toast them I will feel you by my side.

We all know how terrible Alzheimer's is, yet on this day, we will only celebrate all the miracles of life. We shall feel blessed and grateful as we watch the next generation be united as one. With passion and love they will become husband and wife.

With much love I promise to only have tears of joy and not let anything else spoil this special day.

I love you deeply,

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Friday, September 4, 2015



I awoke today with this burning desire to cuddle up and tell you not to worry that everything will be okay. My feelings surfaced once again after watching a week old video that my brother just recorded of you. I was saddened when you could not recall your own mother's name who I know you adored. This time, if only for a second, it was your dad who was vivid in your memory.

I can't help but want to protect you "from the cold" as if you were my own child. None of this is possible given the distance that lies between us. It is still five long months before I will see you again and at least be able to spend an entire month with you. I fear that you are moving backwards as I dream of bringing you forward in time.

This morning I questioned what it would have been if I were able to have conversed with you each day for hours. Would this have helped with your memory and with losing your ability to make sense when you speak? Could this have slowed the progression of your disease? I know that it is Alzheimer's that has robbed you of this, except I cannot help but wonder.

This feeling of just wanting to protect you is one that will not go away. Just thinking that your confusion might be frightening to you brings more sorrow to my heart.

Logan your only grandson is getting married in less than a month and although you are alive you cannot understand. Could my feelings also be in some way connected to this special celebration?

All of us who have witnessed this horrific disease first hand still cannot understand it. Yes September is Worldwide Alzheimer's month yet for all of us, families caregivers it lasts all year long.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Friday, August 28, 2015



On August 24th my mom turned ninety one years old. This picture was from last year when we celebrated her 90th birthday. It was in some ways "exciting" to share this monumental birthday with her given that she has Alzheimer's for over eleven years. To be totally honest to myself there are moments when I question; is this the life I would want to be living?

I live in Manhattan where there are some elders in their early 90's who are still so full of life. Maybe they have slowed down, yet they are still able to come to the gym each morning, enjoy museums, the theatre, take a stroll through Central Park and dine out with friends or family. My husband also has quite a few aunts and uncles who are also in their 90's still driving around, traveling and living their lives "fully".  They are amongst the few that are truly blessed to be in such great health especially given their age.

For mom and many others who suffer from dementia there is not much quality left in their lives.  Just knowing how my mom now is I cannot help to notice and compare.

Obviously, if I were one of the fortunate ones I would be thrilled to be celebrating my 90th Birthday; and if I were like my mother, than for me, I'd rather not . I do know that mom is definitely one of the luckier ones; for she is still mobile, can spell and has as  a good sense of humor. She has not faded away as quickly as some others who have succumb to this horrific disease.

On a brighter note since Alzheimer's leaves mom without a memory she cannot recall how old she is. Thinking you are in your sixties is not such a bad thing when you are already past ninety.

So mom, although I am not with you this year to sing Happy Birthday or feed you you're birthday cake, I do want to say I love you and wish you a very Happy Birthday. Through my brother and your wonderful nurses I was at least able to deliver all of my wishes to you, which did leave me feeling complete.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Thursday, August 6, 2015



"Mom the hand you are holding is that of your one and only grandchild." I can remember all the time you spent with Logan watching his favorite tv shows and movies. It's funny how I can still hear the two of you laughing while. Sometimes I'd wonder how you could sit and see the same movie over and over again. Yet that is what a loving grandmother would do for her one and only grandchild.

You no longer know who my son is nor do you understand that in six weeks he will be getting married. You met his beautiful bride-to-be in January as she came to Florida especially to meet you. "I know mom that you would be so proud of Logan, the man he has become, and would feel affection for the woman he has chosen to spend his life with."

When I think of all that you have been robbed of, I must confess it brings sadness to my heart. Alzheimer's is one of the most devastating diseases. It has the power to invade one's life and wash away a world full of memories.

Some people realize that every day is a gift and for me I hold onto each and every moment that I still can remember. I may never get Alzheimer's, yet one might say that I have a higher possibility since it runs in my family. First, your younger brother, and then you.

I know that going to sleep is final and realize that I would never be able to hear your voice, see your smile or hold your hand again. I question what is better. Being alive, locked away in your own world without any knowledge of your family or existence? Yes you seem to "be happy" or should I say "content". I wonder what thoughts, if any, may cross your mind only to disappear as quickly as they come.

I believe in my heart that you would not want to be alive if you truly understood about the world you now live in. For me if my world becomes like yours, I would not want to keep on living. So with much love how could I not wish for you, what I too would wish for myself. 

When Logan and Julia get married at the end of September, I will be thinking of you knowing how full of happiness and pride you would have been. I promise to have you with us, if only in spirit, to celebrate this glorious occasion. I love you mom today and forever.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Friday, July 24, 2015



I wonder how a "grown" woman with a "grown" child can still have feelings of wanting her mother to just hold and protect her. I long to hear her say "Lisa don't worry everything will be okay. You'll see that it will all work out." Is this a feeling that perhaps will never go away, no matter how old I am?

This is an emotion that I have recently been feeling, and as each day goes by, I know that this is not possible. Yes, I am one of the "lucky "ones that my mom is still here; even if she is half alive.

How I wish that when I tell her how much I love her she could forever remember it. Life is not always how we might like it, and I guess it's all about how we live it.

These feelings that I am sharing I know will pass yet, for the last few weeks, as I search my heart for answers, I cannot help wanting to be able to share them with her.

Just the other day I had my husband take me to the home that I was raised in. I lived there until I graduated college and got married. I had not driven by it in at least twenty five years. I snapped some pictures and left with sweet memories, though I realized that I no longer had a parent that I could share this with. My dad passed away over 21 years ago and my mom's Alzheimer's has taken away her memory.

Mom now travels back in time searching for her own parents. As I have suspected she has returned to a place that she, too, felt secure and loved. I'm not sure why at this time I had the burning desire to visit the setting that I grew up in.

Could it be that I am now feeling somewhat vulnerable? My son and only child in 2 months will  be getting married and someday having a family of his own. Can it be the fact that life does not stand still? Am I looking at my own mortality? My husband's cousin suddenly passed away, so can this also be realizing how quickly one's life could just end?

I phoned the nursing home and started to cry with one of mom's nurses. She asked me to stop because she said that she will also start to cry. I asked a favor of her which she was happy to do. "Diane could you please go find my mother and give her a big hug for me."

Diane called me right back telling me that she found my mom and gave her a strong hug telling mom that it was from me. Mom smiled and said to the nurse, "I love you too." For the moment my tears subsided, envisioning mom doing this put a smile back on my face.

 Mom's life is a part of each day of my life whether I am with her or far away. She is my mother and although life is not always as we would like it to be, our roles are now reversed. The little girl that lies deep within me is now all grown up, and although I may at times want to return there I know that it can only be in my dreams.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015



I will be celebrating my birthday July 12th and I, who never made a big deal about this day, now feel differently. It is because of my mom. I find it sad that the woman who gave birth to me has no memory of this day, or in fact, any other day. My mom for the last ten years has been suffering from Alzheimer's.

The sorrowful part is that each year as I get older I loose a little bit more of her. Having a child of my own I cannot imagine that I might one day not remember bringing him into the world; or perhaps that I even had a child.  How could a disease like this invade one's mind and destroy a life that once was?

Alzheimer's is a rotten disease yet mom has been one of the more "fortunate" ones. The disease has not left her agitated and she seems to have opened her heart to more love. It is I, who at moments, feel the effects of the disease.

In mom's mind she still remembers me (and my brother) as a young child. Her mind has traveled back in time to thinking she still lives with her parents. A place and time for her that she once felt safe, loved and secure. Everything else has pretty much disappeared, so how could she in her mind now have a daughter all grown up? It's almost as if time has stood still.

Forgetting my birthday is the easy thing, it's when I think about how she now lives and all the things she can no longer do, that I get upset. The simple things like getting out of bed each morning, feeding herself, getting dressed, combing her hair or brushing her teeth. These are things that mom no longer can do, yet I do them each morning maybe taking "life" for granted.

Mom does not realize how different her life has become because she has no memory of what her life once was. For her this is a "blessing", and for me it is being able to "accept" how things now are.

So mom, whether you can remember holding me in your arms as I took my first breath or tying my shoes as the laces came undone;this no longer matters. As long as you are not in pain and seem to be "relatively" content then I guess for now, as I blow out my birthday candles, there is not too much more that I could wish for.

I love you mom and will always be grateful that you are the mom who for many years put candles in my cakes; and as the years went by you watched me grow up into a young lady, get married and have a child of my own.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015



I was asked several months ago to write a letter to my mom which was then chosen and published in a book called "Letter to My Mom". After reading other letters I realized that I was not the only one, who at one time, had a fractured relationship with their mother. A relationship that needed healing.

Today my relationship is not only healed it is one that I cherish. Mom has taught me so much about life, even when I was unable to recognize it. She is a lady who has given me strength, integrity and what I refer to as "tough" love. Mom was always there for me and, since she has Alzheimer's, my relationship with her for the last ten years has changed drastically. It is now one filled with unconditional love.

As being a mom myself I certainly remember when I was pregnant and the day that my son entered the world. I will never forget the birth of my one and only child. I melted as I held him in my arms for the very first time. I was also nervous since this was something so brand new to me.

Being a mother is one of the best gifts in the world yet, at times, it can also be challenging. I believe that no matter what your relationship is, or was, with your mother, that when you look deep into your heart you can feel the love.

I have a friend who just lost her mother. After her mom passed away I listened to what she had to say, which all came down to that she loved her, no matter what transpired between the two of them.

I thought it would be nice for all of us to celebrate our mothers. This blog post is a little different than what I usually write. I know it is not Mother's Day, yet I wanted to take the time for all of us who has a mother to honor: your own special lady.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 
Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015



Sometimes I can forget what a gift it is to wake up each morning. Maybe I have just taken it for granted without giving it much thought. When it comes to mom, who has Alzheimer's for over10 years, in regard to her life, my mind has traveled to many different places. There have been days when I wish that she would just go to sleep other moments when I feel differently.

I cannot help but wonder what it is like to lose oneself and still live? I wish that mom could explain this to me. Several years ago when I presented her with a question, " Mom what is it like not to remember anything?",her response was lovely, "although I cannot remember I know that whatever happened the day before had to be nice."

Was it possible that the mom who raised me had turned into a Buddha? Truthfully, growing up I do not remember her being so enlightened. Is it at all possible that Alzheimer's has brought out the best in her?

I wish that I could go back to my childhood and see if it was her or perhaps me acting out. Growing up is not always easy. I know that I had my share of insecurities. What could have caused me to react to her as I once did? Understanding any of this no longer matters, just being given a second chance to love her unconditionally is, undeniably, another gift.

Now all I care about is that my mom is well taken care of and "enjoying" whatever is left of her life.
There is no way for me to know what she truly thinks or feels. I can only hope that when I see her smiling, singing and interacting with others that she is happy.

I have been fortunate to have recent videos of mom(please see my FB page) so that whenever I feel uncertain on how she is doing, I watch them, and for those moments not only am I connected to her, I also know that she is doing great.

The gift for me is to hold onto being grateful as I watch mom "enjoy her life." I must try not to judge how her current life is, for life itself is a gift. As long as I know that she is not suffering and appears to be happy, I just want to celebrate her life, for one day it will all disappear.

MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours. 

Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.