Saturday, June 9, 2012



She's only a pint size lady standing four feet nine inches tall, yet she has become to me a shining star in my life.  On most days when I phone her I feel such joy just to be able to speak to her. This week was a little of a downer for me, because I foolishly left my water faucet on in my bathroom.  Of course, I did not realize it.  Is it possible that I am also getting Alzheimer's ?  My building had shut off the water, as they do once a year, to clean the out water tanks.  I  had gone out for several hours and when I returned, I found a flood that has taken over a week to clean up.

I tried sharing this with my mom who didn't truly understand everything , although I must admit she did try to comfort me.  I felt so careless and stupid, that I really just wanted her to tell me that everything will be okay. I realized that it was no big deal, except I did carry  around with me a heaviness that lasted most of the week. Mom's wisdom was able to shine through, as she told me that as long as we have our health, that was all that was important.

When I phoned the next day, Elaine her cargiver said "your daughter Lisa is on the phone".  I heard my mom sound surprised that I was calling.  I asked her why she sounded surprised, and Ruthie's answer was," I hardly hear from you". I laughed and my response was, "Mom I call you everyday". Ruthie then replied, "I truly do not remember, but I still do love you".  I then answered, "I love you too". She then said "we have no contest about who loves each other more".  She continued with her words of wisdom, saying that the only thing that really matters is that we have our health .

Mom has been doing so well lately and I am starting to believe, that the coconut oil that she is given every morning by Elaine is working.  You see I have no other explanation for what seems to be stablizing her with her Alzheimer's disease.  She has no memory left, yet somehow she seems better.

Not only has she been so aware and sharp she has been also talking up a storm.  Since I have returned from visiting her (which is almost a month)  she continues to question me about when I will coming to see her . She now wants to know how long I will be staying. My answer is for one week, and her response is that it would be nice if I can stay longer. "Mom, I won't be able to stay longer, since I am coming with my husband, and he needs to get back to work".  She then tries to convince me that I should come first, and he can come later.  I make light of it by saying "are you asking me to move in with you" ?  As usual we both giggle.

My mom only has one grandson who she adores. I'm not sure how much she remembers, because she is always surprised about everything. I constantly tell her where he works, lives and how tall he is .  She still thinks that he is a young child.  I know that on most days she does not know his name, for she will question me about how my children are doing. "Mom, I say, I only have one child". Ruthie seems to be surprised.

Today I explained how this week the weather in New York has been irrational. That one day it's fifty degress and that the following day it's eighty degrees.  She immediately said "wow thirty degrees is a big difference".  I was delighted that she was able to figure that out, and so quickly.  It showed me for the moment that her mind had clarity.  

To me my mom is an amazing lady who adds much joy to my life.  It's so important to me while I can, to frolic in the joy she can bring.  I do not know where Alzheimer's will be taking her.  So for now our journey together will hopefully be filled with many bright days. I somehow consider myself  to be one of the lucky ones.  During these last several years my mom's disease has helped me get in touch with the deep love I have for her.

Smiles, laughter and joy can make anyone feel good.  It certainly can place a smile in your heart and one on your face.  My mom has become  my shining star.  We all seem to have choices in our lives, and for me, I choose to stay grateful for all that my mom has left, before she slips away.


  1. Your mother, her wise replies, her not recalling your calls or visits, and your gratitude for her and the deep love you share, all remind me of my past journey that ended in 2010. I feel so much love for my beautiful mom and know I missed too much. I was there every day except for a few vacation breaks, but I sure wish I had found a place for us both, so she could have woken up and gone to bed knowing she had me by her side. I do feel guilt over having her in a care-home, in the initial stages she was feisty, fearful, and wouldn't allow me to give her the help she needed. After she became severely sick (bladder infection caused septcis) and in ICU, I placed her in a "home". Nevertheless, I know I had love, advocacy and care for her on a daily basis. After she passed, my distant and non-existent sister (wouldn't even call) came in to undermine my whole journey. She also hired an attorney, made false accusations I couldn't disprove, and got the majority of funds left. The case took the last two years; I really have just now fully began missing my mama, and reading your blog brings me beautiful memories of her. The end had so much suffering (she had a fall and there were complications). I did move her in my home and slept by her side. So keep writing your blog, it helps me recall the simple and sweet, truthful replies of my mama and here heart of gold. Mothers are so precious!

  2. Don't feel bad about the faucet. As a realtor I'm sometimes taking care of out-of-town homeowner's homes. Recently I had a plumber come out to fix a small leak in a washing machine pipe. After he fixed it, he, (a professional) went outside in the alley to turn the water back on, and I - sitting in kitchen reading a book - heard this explosion of water and he had left the valve on when he went outside and water was spraying all across the room hitting a wall that had just been painted, flooding the mud room with 1 inch of water and running into the kitchen where I was with a newly refinished floor. I won't go further into the details, but even professionals who work with pipees all day long leave valves on.

    About the surprise your mother shows when you call, I too get that when I show up to see Mom. You would think I was never there, but I drop by frequently whenever I can during the day inbetween home showins and floor duty. She always acts like it's been months since I was there. When I leave she always says, "come as often as you can." Sometimes I think, why, you won't remember it, but I know that no matter whether she knows it not or even remembers, I will. I know by dropping by unexpected I can see what life is like in the home and make sure everything is taken care of properly. Surprising the staff is probably helping to keep them on their toes.