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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015



This is mom (20 years ago) a few months after my dad had passed away. Trying to put some joy back in her life, my husband and I flew her to Disney World. We had a wonderful time and for mom, just spending time with her one and only grandchild, always made her smile.

My parents were married for fifty years and dad's death was not an easy one. For nine months Mom traveled quite a distance every day to be with him. She was so strong and never complained. This was a time in my life that I really admired and respected her.

I flew down once a month to see my dad and even more to spend some time with her. It was a time,  as sad as it was, that I was happy to be with mom. We were like "teenage girls" and once again we bonded.

As I think back I can remember other times that I felt close to her, yet also other moments that we definitely went to battle. As I reminisce, I realize that this was the only other time, since I moved out of my childhood home, that I phoned mom every day. Not until she became ill with Alzheimer's did my daily phone calls start again. I terribly miss these calls no matter how silly some of our conversations would be. Just the sound of her voice brought music to my heart.

All that is left for me is to call the nursing home daily and hear the nurses tell me how mom is doing. I always say how much I miss her and request that they tell her that I love her. They reassure me that they will. I don't know why, but this makes me feel better. It makes me feel that I am connected to her.

Now that mom is further along with her disease she hardly has any memory left. For her, time stands still and yet for me it keeps moving on. Mom cannot remember the good nor the painful times. Not remembering the hurtful ones in her life, is the only blessing that goes along with having Alzheimer's.

I wish that we could be with one another as we once were. This is not reality so I like to think of her smiling face and the joy that we once were able to share. I think of the good times and all the love I have in my heart for her; leaving the tough times behind.

I might have wasted some years yet I am so thankful that I was able to get in touch with how very much I love her. I was given a second chance; one that I will never forget. This I do not take for granted.

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

Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Thursday, May 14, 2015



Alzheimer's is a fascinating disease when compared to other illnesses it storms in, attacks all of one's brain cells, eventually leaving nothing in its path. It deeply saddens me as I question how this is possible?

Even more frustrating is that my mom cannot describe to me what is happening to her. I can only guess what she may be thinking or feeling. Why, with most of her memory gone, does she still search all over for her parents? What makes her reverse back to her childhood even as she becomes more childlike?

On Mother's Day which just passed, I shared with mom by phone (I'm a long distance caregiver) how much I loved her and how special she was to me. She repeated the word "special" and then rambled on mixing up words so I had no clue what she was trying to say. I guess she understood what I said for one flashing moment as she quickly moved back into her own world. A world in which she now lives all alone.

I often feel like a pendulum myself swinging back and forth with my mixed up feelings concerning her. There are times when she can make me smile and other times when I wonder what her life is all about. My heartache is in thinking of her nonexistence.

I have been complemented on what a wonderful daughter I am and wish that I could truly own this. It took my mom getting dementia (ten years ago) for me to love her the way I do. Before she became ill, of course I loved her, for she was my mother, yet my love and feelings for her were so different.

I regret that I was not aware of how much love for her existed inside me. I do know now how fortunate I was to be given a second chance to love her unconditionally. For this I am surely grateful.

Since mom does not know the difference of the world she now lives in, I as her daughter, am the one who is left to feel the pain. How I wish I could rescue her from this world of no return. The destructive world of Alzheimer's.

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

Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



If we asked the question what is a mother, there would be quite a few different answers, though most would be filled with love.

 I have found some that I would like to share:

"A mother is someone who loves unconditionally and places the needs of her children above her own, on a personal level, and not only with words, but also actions."

"A mother is someone who loves you and who cares for you in every way. She sits down and listens to what you have to say."

"Mother is the woman who raises you, who is there for you to hold and comfort you when you are sick or hurt, the woman who laughs with you, who cries with you, who loves you, even when you aren't exactly lovable, for whatever reason. This is a "real" mother."

"There are many descriptions of the word mother, and many are applicable. Only those with "closed eyes" can't see that there are many meanings to "mother." A person who gives birth is a mother. A person who raises a child is mother. A person who loves and cares for a child is a mother."

"Being a mother is the hardest job in the world!"

Each one of us who has a mother with Alzheimer's, or has lost a mother to Alzheimer's, or any other illness, know that they will always be our mother. The love they feel in their hearts for us, whether they can express it or not, will always remain.

As my mom drifts further and further away and our roles have reversed, it is a privilege for me to love, cherish and care for her as she had done for me. I myself am a mother, I know so well that being a mother is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the world!

Please take a moment and reflect ,with a smile on your face and joy in your heart, of how lucky we are to have had our mothers. This disease might have stolen them from us, yet not all the love that they have showed us.

Although my mom most likely has no idea what Mother's Day means, I want to share with her all the love I have in my heart for her, today and forever. For all the other mothers I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day.

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

Available on Amazon & Kindle & Audio.

Thursday, April 16, 2015



A few weeks ago was the celebration of two holidays-Passover and Easter. My mom has no idea which holiday she once celebrated. She also gets confused with who I am. I can be her wife, her mother, her friend or her daughter. Fortunately I am able to smile and not allow this to upset me for in my heart, I know that whoever I am to her they are all very special people.

The one thing I do struggle with is realizing all the beautiful things in life that mom can no longer enjoy. It's the simple things like feeling the warmth of the sun or the beautiful bright blue skies after a few cloudy rainy days.

I must confess that my heart is sad when I think of all the things mom use to love to do and can no longer appreciate. She used to treasure reading books and going to the theatre. She loved to go to the movies, or visit a museum. She loved to travel or just take a walk on the beach. In her universe these pleasures no longer exist.

Yes, mom does not know the difference; yet I do. She is "locked" within the walls of the nursing home in a world that she is now entrapped in. I question and wonder if this is what being alive is about. Alzheimer's quickly crept into her soul and removed almost all of her life experiences. She is no longer aware of what she is missing; but I am.

Luckily there is an enjoyment left and that is the "sound of music".  I have
personally witnessed this with my mom and others who have dementia. Music brings a wakening and joy to their hearts. You can see this in their faces as they suddenly become more alive.

After returning home today from spending a glorious sun filled day outside, I once again had visions of my mom roaming the halls of the facility she now lives in. My mind traveled back to the thought of her not knowing anything that was going on in the world she once knew. I can only hope that somehow, someway, she is at least still hearing and enjoying the "sounds of music".

 MY MOM MY HERO - A mother & daughters new found love.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


(as seen in newly released book " A Letter to My Mom" by Lisa Erspamer)

My Mom My Hero

Mom, as I sit down to write my letter I wonder how I can possibly start to share all my feelings with you. So much has changed since you developed Alzheimer’s 10 years ago. As I gather my thoughts I realize that you will not be able to comprehend most of what I say.

As a teenager I loved you, yet somehow I wanted one of my friend’s mothers to be my mother. Then, after you became ill I fell so deeply in love with you. An unconditional love was born and since then you have inspired me each and every day.

I’m not really sure why my sentiments changed so drastically, I just know that I was given a second chance to feel a deep love and appreciation for you. As I reflect back through these years you have inspired me and have become my hero.

Your humor, your smiles, your sweetness have melted my heart.  In several months you will be turning 90 years “young”. You can still be feisty and, as you run around in your Merry Walker, I wonder what you could possibly be thinking.  Of course I could ask you, yet as silly as that might seem you would not be able to remember anything.

Before entering the nursing home this past August I spoke to you every single day. We ended each call throwing each other our kisses. I have continued to phone the nursing home every day only wanting to hear how you are doing. On occasion I get lucky and am able to hear your sweet voice.

 Most of the time you say hello, and after a minute you just drop the phone. You do not even realize that I called or recognize the sound of my voice. Recently I was able to catch you when you were having a minute of clarity. You sounded free of Alzheimer’s as you shared that you missed me. These words immediately melted my heart. After hanging up the phone I knew that this was a magical moment, an occasion for me to treasure.

Mom, I am also a mother. My son, your only grandchild is 26 years old. You adored him and yet today you no longer remember who he is. There have been times that you think you have seven children and days when you think you have none. As a mother I cannot envision that one day I might also not know that I have a child. 

I find it hard to believe that a disease like this can wipe away your whole world as if it never existed, leaving your mind a blank canvas. Daddy passed away almost twenty years ago and I do not believe that you have much recollection of him. I’m actually happy that he is no longer alive. I cannot imagine the pain he would have endured watching you fade away.

Today, in your world, I would have to help you brush your teeth, comb your hair, eat your food and get dressed. As a child you once did all of this for me, as well as comforting me when I was sick, or perhaps feeling a little blue.  Yet with everything that has changed, at least I know that we still have each other to share our love.

What has changed is that our roles have reversed. Now it is my turn to care for you as you once cared for me. The truth is mom that no matter whatever you can or cannot do, I am still your daughter and you will always be my mother.

Life is strange; for out of you becoming ill I have discovered a whole new world. I was given a second chance to love you unconditionally.  You have opened my heart to such a deep compassionate love. Mom as I end my letter, I just want to share with you, how very much I adore you. I feel honored and I am so proud that you are my mother.

 Your one and only daughter,


 MY MOM MY HERO Book - A mother & daughters new found love.

Thursday, March 26, 2015



As I reflect back on the trip that I spent with mom I feel a sense of achievement. Maybe achievement is the incorrect word. It's more like I received a gift to have been able to share and spend so many special moments with her. Mom is quite different now, she has become an innocent sweet child filled with love.

Hearing her call me Lis (short for Lisa) touches me deeply. I now have such compassion for her as she searches all over for her mother. I have often said that as degrading as Alzheimer's disease is, there is also a "hidden silver lining". Mom has traveled back to a time when she felt safe, loved and protected. A place that will always be her home.

It's sweet to hear her speak of her deep love for her parents. She mentions her mother almost every day. When her mom passed away I was quite young. I then was able to witness how much she loved and respected her father. The grandfather I knew was a very special man whom I adored. To honor him I named my son after him.

One day during my visit mom was extremely tired and only wanted to go to sleep. When the aide and I put her down for a nap (hmm, like a baby) she did not want to fall asleep because she was concerned that her mother was waiting for her. I replied "mom it's okay she'll be here when you wake up." Mom whispered just before she closed her eyes "oh okay."

Later that day we spoke about my father which she rarely does. I'm not sure how much she remembers him. I want to believe that there are moments when she does think of him, before they quickly disappear and wash out to sea.

Before mom became ill some of the things she said would bother me. Not anymore, for now I treasure everything she expresses as if she has me in a trance.  I consider myself lucky to be able to smile and appreciate the things she says instead of feeling upset.

Being able to feel this way certainly opens my heart, and gives me much needed space to still be able to share with her whatever time we have left together.

MY MOM MY HERO book is for all the special people in our lives. Over 200 great reviews.

Available on Amazon , Kindle & Audio worldwide.

Thursday, March 19, 2015



After a lengthy visit with my mom I still feel a deep pang in my heart that will not easily go away. Not only do I miss her I also find myself thinking about her more often each day. Some of this might be attributed to finding out that someone else dear to my heart (at the age of seventy) also suffers from this disease.

His name is Rabbi Catano and he now lives in a nursing home close to where we live. This past weekend my husband and I went to visit him, which of course, brought up many thoughts and feelings about my own mother. I sometimes feel angry at this disease for it sweeps in without  warning and erases peoples' lives as if they never existed.

During my past visit with mom she spent most of her days speaking of or searching for her own mother. I noticed how our dear friend also repeated over and over about his grandmother and bringing her the newspaper. If I can find any "comfort" with Alzheimer's it would be that I believe that my mom and Rabbi Catano are not in any pain nor suffering.

I am left wondering that no matter how old you are, do you ever stop missing your parents? Could your feelings be wrapped up into your own mortality? My dad passed away twenty years ago and mom is still alive, although there certainly is a large part of her that is no longer here. Do I now in some ways consider myself an orphan?

Isn't a parent supposed to worry about you, think about you and want to take care of you no matter how old you are? What happened to my beliefs of what a parent should be like? Are they now all disguised due to an illness?

One thing that is left and comforts me is the thought that my mother, whether she expresses it or not, would only want wonderful things for me.Whether they are alive or not, or unable to fully express it, I must always remember how much love my dad and my mom had for me. In that way I was blessed my whole life to have parents who really did love me.

MY MOM MY HERO book is for all the special people in our lives. Over 200 great reviews.

Available on Amazon , Kindle & Audio worldwide.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



I just finished watching several videos from my visit with mom in January. I start each day watching  them which has now replaced the phone calls we use to share. They leave me feeling warm inside as if I am actually with her. How I love to hear her voice and see her smile.

Spending the last seven days with mom had me see how much more our roles have reversed. Mom has, in many ways, become a child; no longer knowing how to get dressed, brush her teeth, comb her hair or eat her meals.

On most days she does not even realize that I exist. She no longer worries or thinks about me as a mother would. For me I think of her constantly as if I were her mother wondering how she is doing.  Maybe she is feeling lonely, frightened or sad. I yearn to take her in my arms, cuddle her and protect her from the world. I want to reassure her that everything will be okay.

I cannot stop thinking, how much is she still aware of? What does she know or understand? We are now ten years into her Alzheimer's, yet there are parts of her that still are present. Mom can spell and is able to answer us in a quick witty manner. She'll tell me that her eyes are tearing or that her nose is running and ask if I have a tissue. She'll start to sing a song and fill in her own words as if she were a poet.

Then minutes later she'll ask for us to take her to her home. She'll say she wants to go home yet never questions where she is. She passes by others in the nursing home who are sitting in their wheelchairs as if they do not exist. Once is a while she says hello never questioning us who they are.

I wonder, where does she think she is? She has been here for 1 1/2 years. She is confused each day not knowing if I am her daughter or her friend. I've been married for 34 years and each day she wants to know who this man is.

I question why some people succumb to this disease and why mom in some ways after all these years still is "present". I ask, is she one of the luckier ones? Perhaps yes, although we as caregivers seem to suffer more as we watch our love ones fade away.

So mom, whether I'm walking beside you or miles away, I cannot stop my heart from missing you in more ways than one. I wish that you could truly understand this unconditional love that I now have for you . Only if you could!

MY MOM MY HERO book is for all the special Mom's in your lives. Over 200 great reviews.

Available on Amazon , Kindle & Audio worldwide.

Friday, February 27, 2015



I've been back in New York now for four weeks. While visiting mom I was sure to have paper and pen with me so I would be able to write down what I was feeling. There were days when I wrote nothing and days when my thoughts and emotions just overflowed as I scribbled away.

Today is the first day that I pulled out my notes, and for the next month or two, I will be documenting in sequence what I was feeling.

Day 4: I awoke today feeling good about mom yet when I reached the nursing home I started to feel a little queasy. After entering the facility and signing in, my husband and I took the elevator to the second floor.

It took a while to find mom, as usual, she was roaming the halls in her Merry Walker. Mom was clearly not having a great day. She appeared to be tired and most of what she had to say was about going home.

I heard mom "crying out" as if she hoped that we could help her. "Take me home my mother is waiting for me,"she pleaded . I need to go home and take care of my children." This was something that mom spoke about on many days.

Since this was in the beginning of our visits it really did upset me. I quickly learned to make the best of it and play along with her. On other visits when she mentioned that her mom was looking for her and I would say "Mom I spoke to your mom and she is okay." Mom would then look at me and with surprise in her voice, "you spoke to my mom?" "Yes mom, I did."

 I realized now why my mom never stops roaming the halls. She has made comments that she is almost home, and with each corner that she turns she seems to think that she'll find it. Her eyes wander into the different rooms as she keeps searching.

At these moments, when she is looking for her children, her memory takes her back to when my brother and I were infants. She cannot visualize us as grownups. When I share with her that I am her daughter she looks confused while at other times her face lights up and quickly tells me that she loves me.

I try not to focus on the sadness of this disease Most of the time I am able to stay in the moment and remain grateful that mom can still walk and talk. So for now I choose to be thankful for each day that we can still share together.

MY MOM MY HERO book is for all the special Mom's in your lives. Over 200 great reviews.

Available on Amazon , Kindle & Audio worldwide.

Sunday, February 22, 2015



Mom knows how to melt my heart without even trying. It was not always like this, yet for the last ten years my unconditional love for her has grown to levels that I cannot explain. The most amazing thing is that I was given a second chance to love her completely.

Yes, she was always my mother, and I always loved her. I was just not in touch with how deeply I cared. It took her getting Alzheimer's for me to fall madly and completely in "awe" of her.

For four weeks my husband and I spent every day visiting mom in her nursing home. Since I live in New York my visits have consisted of just a couple of days every few months. Although each  December my husband and I would visit for a week this trip was different since we were able to spend some precious and meaningful time with her.

Since my return I miss mom even more and on most days I like to play some of the videos that I recorded. They keep me feeling like I am still with her. Just sending my love to her through the nurses is not nearly enough anymore.

These videos have me connected to her in a very different way. Being a long distant caregiver can be difficult. I have learned to accept the distance between us yet it does not make any of this easier.

We've been home for three weeks now and my brother just sent me a special message. He said "mom has been in really good moods recently and it is either from your visits or from her finally settling in (August was one year since mom entered the nursing home) or maybe both."

When I shared this with my husband we both smiled and said the same thing. We were sure that we made a difference in mom's life, and what is more amazing is that she did the same thing for us.

We both seem to feel a deeper inner peace, for me my heart has been glowing, not only for my mom, but also for the man I married thirty four years ago.

Please watch this precious and touching video. It is only 3 1/2 minutes long . I promise that it is both uplifting, inspiring and filled with love.