I was not planning to write a post this week because I will be on a plane going to see my mom. Yet I found that several conversation's that she and I shared, left me with many different emotions. One day it put a big smile on my face, and the next day I was left feeling rather crushed .
Day 1- I heard mom's caregiver say to her, "Lisa ,your daughter is on the phone." With surprise in mom's voice I heard her say "my daughter?" As if she never hears from me , yet every morning at the same time I phone her to say hello.
Mom gets on the phone with "hi sweetie." "Hi mom, guess what is happening in 5 days?" Ruthie answers with,"I don't know." " I am coming to visit you." I then hear her say,"How old are you?" "I am exactly 25 years younger then you." "Well, I do not know how old I am."
"Mom would you like to guess?" Mom vibrantly expresses her feelings saying "I do not care how old I am, as long as I'm Healthy, Wealthy & Wise." I delightfully answer, "mom you are certainly all those things," as I can envision her beaming face.
She then wonders if I will be keeping my name. "Of course mom, I really like the name you gave me, why wouldn't I keep it ?" I could hear in her voice that at this moment, she did not even know that she had a child , no less named me. " What is your name?" "My name is Lisa," and with that mom burst out laughing. I wonder what is so funny as she remarks,"nothing," and continues to explain to me that she has a problem trying to remember names.
Next question to me is,"where do I live?" "I live in New York." She continues to tell me that she likes me, and all I really want to know from her, is "do you love me?" "Of course I love you." as she hangs up the phone.
Since I will be visiting in less then a week, I ask mom how many days there are in a week. I received three different answers depending on which day I asked ;16 days, 10 days and once she had a lucky guess of 7 days. Or maybe her memory was working at that moment.
Day 2- When Ruthie got on the phone I wondered if she knew who I was, so I presented the question to her. With an uncertainty in her voice she responded with " are you my mother? my friend?my relative? do I even know you?" As my heart sank I answered,"yes mom you know me. I am your daughter."
She quickly apologized, that if she does not sound good at moments, it's because of her memory, and that she'd like me to know that she loves me. As she spoke those words I felt like I would melt, while at the same time I was feeling like my heart could break in two.
How can this be, how can my mom not remember me? How can Alzheimer's rob her of what was once her world ? I could never imagine not knowing who my son was. The thought of not knowing Logan one day truly terrifies me.
I know that mom is starting to loose more of her memory, yet she has also been doing very well for several weeks. She sounds good and in such a strange way she is quite aware. I do have to admit that her answers at moments would frighten or upset some people, yet for me I try to appreciate and be thankful for what we still can share.
I will not allow Alzheimer's to destroy the love, bond and relationship that my mom and I now have. Yes, my mom is different today, yet she still is my mother. I feel so much love,admiration and affection for her, like my cup can surely "runneth" over.