Tuesday, April 7, 2015


(as seen in newly released book " A Letter to My Mom" by Lisa Erspamer) Updated Nov 2015

My Mom My Hero

Mom, as I sit down to write my letter I wonder how I can possibly start to share all my feelings with you. So much has changed since you developed Alzheimer’s 11 years ago. As I gather my thoughts I realize that you will not be able to comprehend most of what I say.

As a teenager I loved you, yet somehow I wanted one of my friend’s mothers to be my mother. Then, after you became ill I fell so deeply in love with you. An unconditional love was born and since then you have inspired me each and every day.

I’m not really sure why my sentiments changed so drastically, I just know that I was given a second chance to feel a deep love and appreciation for you. As I reflect back through these years you have inspired me and have become my hero.

Your humor, your smiles, your sweetness have melted my heart.  In several months you will be turning 91 years “young”. You can still be feisty and, as you run around in your Merry Walker, I wonder what you could possibly be thinking.  Of course I could ask you, yet as silly as that might seem you would not be able to remember anything.

Before entering the nursing home over two years ago, I spoke to you every single day. We ended each call throwing each other our kisses. I have continued to phone the nursing home every day only wanting to hear how you are doing. On occasion I get lucky and am able to hear your sweet voice.

 Most of the time you say hello, and after a minute you just drop the phone. You do not even realize that I called or recognize the sound of my voice. Recently I was able to catch you when you were having a minute of clarity. You sounded free of Alzheimer’s as you shared that you missed me. These words immediately melted my heart. After hanging up the phone I knew that this was a magical moment, an occasion for me to treasure.

Mom, I am also a mother. My son, your only grandchild is 27 years old. You adored him and yet today you no longer remember who he is. There have been times that you think you have seven children and days when you think you have none. As a mother I cannot envision that one day I might also not know that I have a child. 

I find it hard to believe that a disease like this can wipe away your whole world as if it never existed, leaving your mind a blank canvas. Daddy passed away almost twenty two years ago and I do not believe that you have much recollection of him. I’m actually happy that he is no longer alive. I cannot imagine the pain he would have endured watching you fade away.

Today, in your world, I would have to help you brush your teeth, comb your hair, eat your food and get dressed. As a child you once did all of this for me, as well as comforting me when I was sick, or perhaps feeling a little blue.  Yet with everything that has changed, at least I know that we still have each other to share our love.

What has changed is that our roles have reversed. Now it is my turn to care for you as you once cared for me. The truth is mom that no matter whatever you can or cannot do, I am still your daughter and you will always be my mother.

Life is strange; for out of you becoming ill I have discovered a whole new world. I was given a second chance to love you unconditionally.  You have opened my heart to such a deep compassionate love. Mom as I end my letter, I just want to share with you, how very much I adore you. I feel honored and I am so proud that you are my mother.

 Your one and only daughter,


 MY MOM MY HERO Book - A mother & daughters new found love.http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers--daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400860930&sr=1-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch


  1. Such a beautiful letter. It touched my heart deeply. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Barb

    1. Barb I greatly appreciate your support. xoxo Lisa

  2. Dear Lisa, I hope you spend many more years with your Mom. My hero, my Dad passed away from dementia last June. I miss him unbelievably but I too am advocating for better support and care for people living with dementia here in Australia. Take care and enjoy your time together... keep smiling 😊 big hug from Marija xx

  3. Dear Maria, I'm sorry that you lost your dad and I am also so proud of what you are doing in Australia. I know that we are ALL in this together and there is no country that Dementia will not hit. It has no borders. I know that your dad (and my mom) would be so proud of what we are doing .Sending some big strong hugs right back to you. Lisa