Sunday, January 22, 2012



I have been walking around with a heavy heart ever since my mom was hallucinating and ended up in a hospital. This was my awakening that my mom was now ready to go into a nursing home. The thought left me feeling so sad and lonely.  My feelings were all filled with much fear of how can I do this to my mom?  What will she say and how will she feel? How could I possibly even think of it?  Was I about to do the right thing? Was this best for my mom? My mom who has expressed many times that she wanted to stay in her home till she dies.  Should I wait a couple of months which would be only prolonging the inevitable? 

All this left me with many memories of my mom and dad and how quickly our lives go by. We sit, we plan and we do not really know if we’ll even be around to fill our dreams.  Lately I have been awakening most mornings to dreams that are still so vivid as I rise out of my sleep .  Before this episode I was enjoying my mom completely.  I guess one could say that I looked upon the situation with that my cup was half full, not half empty. Several years ago after I realized that my mom had Alzheimer’s I had decided to cherish every second left that I still could share with her.

Today when I called my mom I was able to have such a fun uplifting conversation. It lifted my spirits and had me feeling so much lighter. My mom told me that I  had seven sisters and two brothers. The true facts are that my mom has only one daughter, that is me, and only one son.  For me I was happy to play along with her as we both giggled like teen age girls.  My mom does not remember what is true and to me that makes no difference.  At this point it does not matter.  I guess what I need, or so badly want, is to delight in these cute and humorous conversations whether they make sense or not.
What I realized was that when my mom is sounding so great she might be in la, la land and when I catch her sounding a little down, she may be somewhere in her mind, wondering what is happening to her. I cannot change or take away Alzheimer’s from my mom, yet I can laugh with her and enjoy the moments that we have left.  And guess what, out of my mom’s seven daughters I’m still her favorite one. Lucky, lucky me!  So I wonder, is it better to have my cup half full or half empty? There is nothing I can change other than how I hold everything.  I am grateful for all that we still have left and cannot think about all that is lost. For this my cup will remain half full.

And in one second our lives can change for today my mom was rushed back to the hospital.  At this moment all I have left is to wonder what is next.


  1. your story touched me deeply, I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s last July, it's been a long and hard journey watching her forget who she is, and who her children and grandchildren are..watching her body slowly break down then finally losing her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Treasure your memories..

  2. be grateful for the cup...i lost mom three years ago(it seem like yesterday) yet i hear her laughing and talking to me today.and i cry from the pain of remembering but laugh at what was.and keep moving forward

  3. Sandy Whelan, Dementia with DignityJanuary 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Lisa, what a gift you give us by sharing your story and love for your mother!!! Your story is so touching and I hope it will help others to focus on those moments of joy and life's little blessings. What a difference we can make in the world when we see the cup as half full. And I am so glad you are the favorite of the seven daughters! lol

  4. My mom died when I was eleven and my dad when I was 21. I have never had to deal with aging parents. I guess I have to see your cup as half full. I know it must be difficult. You also have to keep her safe too.
    I have told my children that I don't really want to go to a nursing home, but if it comes to that point I will trust them to make the right decision. I don't want to be a problem for them. Your mother sounds like she would feel the same way. I hope you won't be too hard on yourself if you have to put her in a nursing home. Just enjoy the time you have as you are doing. Good luck to you and take care.

  5. I want to thank everyone for reaching out to me and your supportive, touching words. I wish I could write each one of you yet you have not given me your email addresses. Hope you get to see my words back to each and every one of you.
    I wish all of you much love.

  6. Lisa:

    I was very touched by your tribute to your mother. I must say the story sounds familiar in many ways. However, my mother lost her fight against this disease this month. I am torn between feeling relief that her suffering has ended and the fact that my mother has really died. I spent so much time and energy caring for her for the past few years that I am feeling a little lost right now. I have channeled my energy into raising funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association. However, I still find myself thinking of all the things mom might need from me.

    I want to comment on the "you are her favorite daughter" thing you mentioned. How sweet! My mother has three children, two boys and me. The last year of her life I became her sister to her. She was an only child - so that was a strange concept. However, if she got mad, she remembered I was her daughter! The very last month of her life, she seemed to think I was her daughter most of time. I treasured that - it was a small thing, but as you are aware, all the emotion and difficulties you survive when you have or care for someone with this disease - that makes each little shining momement important. Keep up the good work - awareness is an extremely important tool in this fight against Alzheimer's. Good luck and God Bless.

  7. Dear Lisa, your story -and the comments- inspires and encourages me to make know to all people in the Alzheimer Comunity my Open Letter with my ALZHEIMER: MANIFEST TO PRESIDENT EVO MORALES FROM BOLIVIA. I invite you to read it I thank you Simon Morales