Friday, April 26, 2013



I've been singing this song "oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day".... with my mom for the last several weeks. We have been singing in harmony as we cheerfully sing the lyrics.  Somehow this week turned out to be filled with curves and hills as we traveled through the valley together.

One morning when mom's caregiver arrived, she found mom complaining about back pains and that she had removed all the towels from her closet, as well as leaving her bedroom in shambles. Mom was rambling on and not making much sense. We have become experienced enough to know that this was the start of a UTI( urinary tract infection).The first time it happened we were not aware of how common it was with Alzheimer patients. Mom was hallucinating.

It's hard to believe that an infection could cause such reactions. At that time my brother and I was sure that mom was needing to be moved into a nursing home. Luckily it was only the infection that caused such delusions. Based on our experience we are now aware of the symptons, so we immediately put her on an antibiotic.

The same night I recieved a rather alarming phone call from the fire department. A wonderful fireman called Mike was at my mother's home. One of her neighbors sited mom wandering and called 911. How could this be when mom was suppose to be with her caregiver? Mike the fireman found her sitting oustside on the curb. He said that mom was fine although she was disoriented when he found her, and did not know where she lived. Thankfully she was wearing a Medic Alert bracelet which enabled him to find her home and track me down.

I was at first feeling panicked and many different emotions were attacking me all at once. Guilt, fears,and anger. I pulled myself together and was able to reach her caregiver who left mom to get something to eat. She returned to my mothers home and stayed the night with her. I was told by the fireman that if he could not find anyone he would have had to take mom to the hospital. This was brand new for she never ever wandered before, in the eight years that she has Alzheimer's.

Wandering is quite common and I urge all of you that are now reading my post, to please make sure that your loved one has an identification bracelet. If you need more information please contact your local Alzheimer organization wherever you may live, and they will be able to advise you on how to get one.

Mom ended the week on an "up" note for when I shared with her that her son was coming she said "oh my brother I love him so much." "No mom not your brother, your son is coming." Mom's tender reply was "brother, son what difference does it make, I love them all the same."I realized that mom can distinguish who is her family, and yet she cannot always distinguish between brother, son, father, sister, daughter,or mother. Sometimes she thinks her name is Lisa and it amuses her that she and I have the same name. Most days she knows my name and that I am her daughter.

Being grateful for the little things in life is all that I now can ask for. Yes I am grateful and I am thankful that my mom still can warm my heart in so many ways. Big, small it does not matter. So I ask myself was this a beautiful day? For me my answer has to be yes.

My newly released book-My Mom My Hero, is now available on Amazon and Kindle worldwide. The reviews have been wonderful.

Friday, April 12, 2013



 I shared with mom that I had called to tell her how much I loved her, and to wish her a lovely day. As if she was a poet she recited this beautiful verse to me. "Love is like the ocean, beautiful and clear." Was I hearing things? Exuberantly, I shouted "mom that was absolutely beautiful." I could actually feel moms smile right through the phone wires as she said "I'm so glad you liked it."   I quickly rejoiced in her poetic words. For a split moment my mom became my spiritual Buddha.  The eloquence of these words fascinated me.

The following day I phoned  in a humorous mood and as she answered my call I did not say my usual "hi Mom," instead I said "hi Mommy" which Ruthie found to be quite funny. She giggled and said "I like that I am your mommy." With that I chirped in that I had four names for her, which were Mom, Mommy, Mother & Ruthie. I could tell that we both were feeling amused. The phone call was light and silly.

 For me these daily phone calls are so meaningful. I look forward to hearing her sweet voice and I adore telling her how much I love her. Funny how this unconditional love that I feel so deep in my heart, was not always present before she suffered with Alzheimer's. I wonder if my calls back then were out of obligation rather than love. There were times that I would call to share about her one and only grandchild that she so adored. Those call always brought much joy to her heart and I loved to hear about how smart, kind and handsome he was, from his one and only grandmother.

Unfortunately, today mom does not remember that she has a grandson. At least in her mind, yet in her heart I know she knows. I know when he comes with me to visit she feels all his love as she gleams back at him, with much affection. I love watching them holding each other's hands. Logan and I are planning to visit her during the month of June. I am getting excited as the time is getting closer

As our phone calls come to an end, mom usually wishes me a wonderful day and repeatedly tells me that she only wants her family to be healthy. Healthy, I wonder how she would actually describe what the word signifies to her. For when I repeat it and question her about her own health, her response is always a positive one.

I have written down mom's beautiful verse that she just said to me, as I want to  remember it always , "Love is like the ocean beautiful and clear." For me my love for her is deeper than the deepest part of any ocean. My mom, my mommy, my mother will always my hero.

My newly released book-My Mom My Hero, is now available on Amazon and Kindle worldwide.


Thursday, April 4, 2013



After one week of my mom not responding in her cheerful way, there were some concerns that she was moving into another phase of Alzheimer's. Ruthie somehow bounced back and once again she was doing "well".  She was ready to chat, and chat is what she did. I kept a prospective on what doing "well" actually means, given the destruction from this disease. Mom is not the same person, yet I like to look upon her as still being whole, just in a different place.

 I find that being thankful for the little things from Ruthie is all that I can ask for.  I am thrilled and delighted when our phone calls have sounds of laughter, and mom is still able to understand most of the things that I share with her. I  know that I need to keep my communication with her simple. No longer can I tell her stories, for she will then say that she cannot understand what I am speaking about. Complicated conversations will only confuse her, so for now short and sweet is the way to go.

"Hi mom, did I tell you that I wrote a book about you?" Ruthie with an upbeat voice filled with clarity chimed in "that's very nice of you." I shared that my book was dedicated to her and is called, My Mom My Hero. With much pride in her voice mom sounded delighted and thanked me. I wanted to believe for the moment that she understood everything I just said to her.

Given that she cannot remember that I call each day, I am certain that she has already forgotten about the book . My book honors her, and shares about all the unconditional love that I now feel for her as we travel together on her journey.

 Mom continues with,"Lisa I thought you were coming to visit today." "No mom that would be impossible since I do not live close to you." "Oh where do you live?" "I live in New York." "I'm sorry I forgot, and I will wait for you to visit no matter how long it takes." With those words my heart melted and I replied," I'll be coming in a few weeks, but right now I'm waiting for my kisses." Her response was, "I didn't know that you were waiting for my kisses." She made me laugh and I made sure to let her know, that my day is not complete without them.

After hanging up I had a passing thought of what would it be like when she can no longer throw these kisses. A day that I do not want to think about, and I only want to celebrate now her being alive .I know that for me as long as mom can still have a breath of fresh air, I am grateful.

These simple things in life that one can take for granted, are for me what really counts. My mom today still fills my heart with a love that I deeply cherish. Life can be great and life can be tough ,yet how we choose to look at it can really make a diffference.

My Book is now Available on Amazon and Kindle Worldwide.
Here is the link.