Saturday, June 16, 2012


THE MOM I USE TO FIGHT WITH (flashback 3 years ago)

Today on the phone my mom seemed upset( this occurred three years ago).  I think she was quite aware of the hard time she was starting to have since she suffers from Alzheimer’s.   As I described her personality to my husband, I mentioned how she sounded to me like the "old" mom.  I heard once again the harshness in her voice.   The sweet, kind and nurturing one that she has been showing had disappeared.  It was the mom I had always experienced while growing up, a part of her that I never liked. 

It was a part of her personality that at moments could show up in me.  This was where our personalities had clashed.  This was where we did not seem to get along.  This was part of her personality of being tough, and never letting anyone take advantage of her.  At times these aspects could also be a part of me.

Could it be that ,my mom who stood not quite 5 feet tall, did this to protect herself?  Or as I personally experienced myself, could something from her childhood have caused her to react this way?
Back to the present

This week after my mom and I had one of our many conversations, I hung up and wondered if  she would have been as sweet as she is today, would I have also been as loving as I now am to her .

Today and each day that I speak to her I tell her how very much I love her, and how special she is to me.  She always seems to thank me for what I just said . What would it have been like if I would have understood and loved her in the same way when I was a child?  Would my mom have been as sweet and gentle with me as she is now? Would we have had an entirely different relationship? Was it me or was it both of us?

Why did it take my mom's illness for her to be able show how very sweet she is, and for me to love her as deeply as I do.

Can you only imagine how I now feel, when my mom thanks me, for all the kind words that I shower upon her.  All that I am left to say is "mom if I didn't mean everything I just said, I would never say it".

I guess as the expression goes that it is never too late to fall in love, except this is not with a man this is with my own mother.  My mother who in her later years of life, as she suffers from Alzheimer's has been able to shine with all the love she has to give. This lady who I use to fight with no longer exists.

For me there appears to be some silver lining behind this awful disease. Maybe my mom has no recollection of her past, and at times can be confused, yet the one thing she never seems to forget is to show me  all her love. 

My heart has opened up for her with such love and joy, that I can now celebrate each day that we have left. Alzheimer's is a tragic disease, yet in some strange way, it has returned to me my mom, the one I now call my hero.

Together we all need to spread and raise awareness about Alzheimer's.


  1. Hi Lisa, I am happy that you now have that chance to make peace with your mom. Even though I am sure you would rather it be another way, instead of her having to be sick. It sounds like your mom became more peaceful and sweet after getting alzheimer's. My mom was the opposite. She was sweet and kind before, but after getting sick she became quite mean at times. Now that her illness is more advanced, she is nice to us again, but she still gets agitated and aggravated more easily...especially with her caregivers. Some of her personality is still there. I miss having my mom the way we had her before. It's hard to accept sometimes, that this is our life with her now and it's not ever going to get better. Tougher roads are ahead. The sad thing with our family is that my relationship with my sisters has been strained. We used to be really close. It's sad.

    I am thinking of you!


  2. So touching, always, to read about you and your mom, Lisa!

  3. I can relate to this... since my Mom had early onset Alzheimer's, I was quite young (just 14) when it started to affect her. I've so often wished that I could take back all those times of conflict with her in my childhood and just appreciate the beautiful, kind, caring woman she was. Even though it's in the midst of Alzheimer's, I'm glad you're able to have these moments with your Mom.

  4. Reading this and the comments made me try to think if things are different with my mom and me. I don't think so. We were together so much as I grew up being 30 miles in the country. Sometimes with my brother off in another state and daddy at the plant working, all we had was each other. We became more than daughter/mom, we became best friends. Even after I married, I'd rather be with Mom than anyone else, and we'd go shopping every single Saturday at Bealls or Penneys (after daddy's death). Before his death she shopped at all the finer shops. After his death, she became tight with her money. But our relationship never changed. Mom has always been loving and we never argued. She is still loving. She is melancholy personality though, which means she sees the cup half empty, but I offset that with seeing the cup half full. Maybe she's not far enough into it to change her personality, or maybe vascular dementia is different from alzheimer's. I do know that medication brought on a change for a while and she actually attacked some nurses and tried to slap one in rehab, but once we got her off the meds, she returned to her usual sweet self, so we saw that for only a week or so. NO more meds unless they save her life.