Friday, July 26, 2013



I wonder to mom who I might be this week. A mother, daughter, friend or relative? Lucky me that mom is still able to distinguish between sexes. Know need to worry that she might think I'm her son or even grandson.

In her world she can no longer explain how she sees or understands things. I sit, I listen and try to search some clues as she sometimes shares her passing thoughts. It amazes me how most of her life could just disappear as if in some ways it never existed.

Each day she wants to know when I will be coming to visit. She has been wanting to know this everyday for the last two weeks. So much so, that I have been wondering if she realizes that I have not seen her in several months. On the opposite side of the coin, I know that if I had just visited she would not remember that either. Yet I must admit that feelings of guilt have embraced me for several moments each time she mentions this.

Foolishly, I approach the topic with mom to see if she remembers what I look like and to have a little fun. "Of course I remember what you look like,"she responds. "You are beautiful." "Thanks mom except you are even prettier." Ruthie says,"I am?" "Yes mom you are very pretty." With some surprise in her voice she thanks me. For in my eyes my mother was and always will be quite beautiful .

Last night I found a picture of her holding my son when he was only a few weeks old. She looked so young, and vibrant as she cuddled him.  As I looked at the picture I flashed back to her life twenty five years ago.  Maybe not totally perfect, yet a life filled with love, family and friends. Today mom does not know that she has a grandson. A grandson who she so adored.

Unfortunately since she has macular degeneration for many years she has not been able to recognize her family in pictures. I believe that if she was able to see photos of us it could have helped her retain memories of each one of us.

As each day goes by I wait for her to throw me my kisses. Sometimes I receive them just as I requested . Then there are the times when she just hands the phone back to her caregiver, only to be reminded that her daughter is waiting for her kisses. Other days she wonders how can she kiss me through the phone and tells me that if I want her kisses I should come over and collect them.

Either way there never is a day that I hang up without receiving her delicious kisses. Kisses that mean the world to me. Kisses that I never take for granted. Kisses that I slip into my pocket to hold close to my heart . Mom's kisses bring such warmth and mean the world to me.

On good days mom knows who I am and on some off days she wonders who I am. As long as I can hear the sounds of her sweet voice it does not matter who to her I might be . I can only wish and pray that she may always have some memories of who we all are. For now I hold onto our brighter days never knowing when these may come to an end.

My Mom My Hero Book is for the special people we love in our lives.
#1 on Amazon Best Seller's in Memoirs (June 2013) fr/e books
Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

Friday, July 19, 2013



Last week was my birthday which mom had no idea of the month or day that I was born . She had no memory of giving birth to me, naming me or holding me for the very first time. She does not remember watching me grow from a child into an adult.

I feel fortunate that I can except all of this without feeling upset. For my Birthday celebration this week I decided to have mom sing me each day the Happy Birthday song. When she arrived at "happy birthday dear ....."she blanked on my name, yet quickly replaced it with calling me "her friend", her "sweet relative" or even" her mother." I knew that I was in good company for all these people she loved.

Since I live far away, I do not get to see her that often. My brother who visits her each week told me that she is now addressing him as her friend. She knows his name, yet usually does not remember that he is her son. Sometimes when I call she is confused thinking that she just spoke to me, when in reality she just hung up with my brother.

When I fear that she is getting worse, she somehow bounces back as if Alzheimer's is not winning. At moments there is clarity about what she is saying. Then there are the other times when she makes no sense. On these days I can hear how disconnected she is from the world.

 When I do hear words flow from her they are very meaningful to me. Mom being able to speak is something I never take for granted. When she insists that she does not want to spell anymore, I  respect her request and just move on. I certainly do not want to frustrate her and love that she still has the ability to spell.

She makes me smile when she tells me that I should keep in touch. "Mom I call you everyday." Her  quick response is that her caregivers must have forgotten to tell her. After she questions where I live and I ask her where she lives, her answer is,"I live here." She has her moments  of being able to answer spontaneously. She also has a knack to be able to cover up the answers that she cannot complete.

When mom calls me her friend, her relative ,or her mother I still smile, yet when I hear that she is just lying in a chair stearing at the ceiling, I become saddened and wonder what kind of existence does she now have.

Her illness at times has me feel like I am on a roller coaster. As she goes up and down with each elevation my heart goes along for the ride. There are the times that I stay with her and enjoy the ride, and then there are the dips that I just want to get off as quickly as I can.

 Life is not always how we want it to be, yet not one day goes by that I do not feel how special it is, that I still have my mom.

My Mom My Hero is for the special people we love in our lives.
#1 on Amazon Best Seller's in Memoirs (June 2013) fr/e books
Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.


Friday, July 12, 2013



Last week when I phoned mom and her caregiver handed her the phone, my mother asked if I remembered her. "Of course mom, I remember you." I was not sure where this conversation would be going yet Ruthie sounded lively, so I let her take the lead. I had no idea what else she might be saying and it was nice to hear her sounding upbeat .

Her next question was wanting to know my husband's name. This was amazing that she was even remembering that I had a husband, for several weeks before she was not aware of this. Maybe just a lucky guess on her part . I acknowledged that his name was Bert. She sweetly commented that his name sounded familiar."That's good mom because we have been married for thirty three years." With surprise in her voice she said " really,that's a long time."

Mom then wanted to know how I knew her. I explained that she was my mother and I was her daughter. She then wondered if I was also her friend. "You sure are, in fact you are my best friend," I declared. As I described my sentiments I could feel how excited she was.

This was an unusual day, for recently Ruthie seems to end our phone calls, almost before they begin. Yet I still get hear her loving hello's and receive my kisses before we hang up . I know deep in my heart how important it is to treasure these scrumptious kisses and never take them for granted.

I have noticed that mom is having trouble connecting her words and thoughts. Her giggles and laughter have been fading and her spelling has not been filled with as much perfection as in the past. Yet somehow she still is hanging on. It's been over nine years since she became ill with Alzheimer's, and although her younger brother passed away within a few years of the disease, Ruthie is doing "good." Whatever "good" may mean.

Today was a day that left me laughing as we got ready to say our goodbye's. I asked mom for my daily kisses and she replied" I cannot kiss you.""Why I asked?" She responded with "because you are only suppose to kiss boys." "Okay mom, "I have a great idea, why don't we just pretend that I am a boy." I couldn't believe what was coming out of my lips, and how giddy it might have sounded, yet it worked. Mom said, "okay" and threw me my kisses.

As I hung up the phone I had a gleaming smile across my face. Somehow I am able to delight in the different things she may say, whether they make sense or not. I love and cherish the innocent little girl, that in many ways she has become.

#1 on Amazon's Best Seller list in Memoirs week of June 4th, 2013

My Mom My Hero is for the special people in our lives. A story of love and relationships. Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.