Monday, August 15, 2011


Laughter, Smiles & Memories

What I have been noticing is that I am laughing alot more when I speak to people that are not familiar to me.  I realized this while making phone calls at the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer Association where I recently started volunteering on Thursday's.  I've been calling different facilities to update their records for their helpline. I actually had a lady thank me for she had been boggled down all day with paperwork and after we spoke and were laughing she said "I just want to thank you for making me laugh". Which then put a big smile on my face and I immediately thought of my mom.

Could this be because of my mom and all the laughter that we share together on our daily phone calls?
Could be,who knows.  I just know that when my mom and I speak I find that we both laugh alot together, while one of us makes a joke or says something that amuses us. This part of our relationship definately happened after my mom had gotten Alzheimer's. Perhaps before, there were moments that I did not even want to call her, and yet I did, so she would hear my voice and know that I was okay. Sometimes, I absolutely did call to share something with her, yet these light cheerful conversations that we now share, were definately not part of our realtionship back then. This is rather interesting to me, this shift in our relationship and love that we now show each other(ever since my mom got Alzheimer's).  Actually, it is quite lovely.

I also noticed that for some unknown reason I did not want to use the word Alzheimer's to my mom, when I shared with her that I was going to volunteer the other day. My mom said "that's so nice, where are you volunteering she asked?"  I said "mom I'm going to a place where older people are" and at that second I realized how I was actually afraid to tell her the truth. Was I afraid that I would upset her? What or why wouldn't I say the word to her? My mom knew that her younger brother had Alzheimer's and sadly passed away from it. I remember that my mom use to get really upset when she saw him because he no longer recognized her or anyone for that matter. By the time my Uncle Alvin passed away my mom had Alzheimer's herself, and although she was quite upset when she found out about her baby brother passing away, none of us meaning, my brother or I would speak about it with her.

So am I protecting my mom from not saying the word Alzheimer's to her? I actually do not think that my brother or I have shared with my mom in any length that she had Alzheimer's. It's strange yet she would now not even remember what it is or what she has, for my mom cannot remember almost everything.

I shared with her that my Cousin Carole was coming to visit and mom said nothing. I explained "Mom Cousin Carole is Uncle Benny's daughter. Uncle Benny was daddy's older brother who we went to visit all the time". My mom replies' "I really do not remember anything, yet his name sounds a little familiar to me." 

With a little pang in my heart and bewilderment on my face I changed the subject.
All gone and all forgoetten. How does your life ,your experiences, all of your precious lifetime of memories just slip away ? Poof, disappear like they never existed. It is absolutely amazing that this is what this disease can do to you.

FACT- Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer's is a worldwide problem having no boundaries. Please help spread awareness around the planet.


  1. Oh, what a sad, sweet wonderful post! I can only imagine the journey you are now on with your Mom. Given the choice, I would probably try to shield my Mom as well. Blessings to you and her from your newest follower. Linda

  2. We shielded mom from the diagnosis and just told her she has a clogged artery in the back of her neck that causes memory loss and that she needs to keep the oxygen on as much as possible so her brain will get oxygen.

    Once I did say the words vascular dementia when she asked me point blank what it was called, and she got this awful look on her face and said, "So I'm just plain crazy?"
    No, I assued her that she had just lost some memories is all, that it is a vascular disease of the arteries. That seem to comfort her and we've never said dementia again. She has noticed that everyone on her ward is 'crazy" as she says or "just not right". Keep up the good work spreading laughter in your volunteer work.