Monday, September 26, 2011



I've been blogging for almost seven months now about my new found love and respect for my mother.
Within this time I have watched my mom loose most of her memory.  I have listened and observed her as she slowly slips away.

I am a long distant caregiver for my mom and get to visit her approximately every three months. Everyday when I phone her, I can tell within a few seconds how she is doing that day.  As of today, I am still one of the luckier ones, who has a parent with Alzheimer's disease, since my mom still knows my name. Someone might say why do you consider yourself lucky? My answer is that I cannot take this disease away from my mom, yet I can be thrilled that she seems to be quite happy and content on most given days. We have many converstaions filled with laughter and I enjoy her so very much..

Conversations? which sounds like a rather strange way to express how my mom and I converse. We really cannot have long lenghty conversations ,because my mom cannot remember anything that we just spoke about. Yet we can have fun and sing together on the telephone.  My mom makes up some of the words that neither she, nor I can remember. I like to make light of it, and tell her that we are like the blind leading the blind as we both giggle. Ruthie is also still able to spell quite well and I ask her to spell different words to help stimulate her memory. And most of all, my mom still knows who I am, and for this I feel so thankful and cherish every moment that we still have together.

In two and half weeks I will be taking a trip to Florida with my son to visit my mom and his grandmother.  I am so excited as of now and when the time gets closer I usually go through many different feelings about how she will be when we arrive.

I am now on a journey to see in my lifetime a cure or prevention for this horrifying disease. A disease that removes someone's life just like it never existed at all.  Along with all the joy that my mom can fortunately still give me, I know that her day will come, and I too will become affected in a totally different way.

Of course I'd remove Alzheimer's from my mom's soul if it was at all possible. Yet I now feel that my life has another purpose, and that is to do all that I can to make a difference to other children who have a parent with this disease. My life in a strange way feels that I have been honored that I can feel such a passion to want to be part of something much larger than me. This along with my love for my family has added a new purpose in my life.

Several weeks ago when I shared with my mom that I was going off to volunteer, my mom asked me where I was going. I watched as I was fearful to tell her that I was off to the Alzheimer offices.  Instead I mentioned that I was going to help the elderly and my mom's reply was how lovely that was.

September 22nd, the day after Alzheimer World Day I decided to tell my mom where I was really going. My mom went totally silent. Was it my imagination? Did she think of her younger brother who had died from Alzheimer's, or did she think of herself ?  Was she silent because she does not know what Alzheimer's is ? or because she knows she has it.

I've been asked by people, if my mom knows that she has Alzheimer's. I do not know the answer to that, and my question is does it really matter ? Would it make any difference? It will be interesting to hear what my brother might say, when I ask his opinion about this. To me she is my mom, the one that gave birth to me, who raised me, and no matter what her life has waiting for her,  I am totally committed to being there for my mom. My mom who has become my love, is also my hero.

Fact- 10 Million Baby Boomer will get Alzheimer's. 35 Million people now have dementia around the world.


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