Friday, February 1, 2013



If we asked hundreds of people what the meaning of life was for them, I'm sure there would be many different answers.  I do not want to get to philosophical about it, yet after several conversations this week with my mother, I could not help to think about the meaning of life. I'm sure that it includes our loved ones, our spouses and of course our children. Yet for mom on most days she does not even understand that she has a grandson, and one that she so adored.

Mom is showing new signs of diminishing as a "whole" person. She has become lost for even knowing the simplest things. Her words at moments are so disconnected from there meanings. Just the other day she could not understand the connection of the phone cord and the phone, as she tried to describe the rope hanging from the wall.  I shared with her about how our voices travel to each other through the telephone. She could not comprehend this once familiar instrument.

With the arrival of her new couch that was replacing her chair she described it by calling it a turkey. She realizes something is different yet she cannot figure it out. The chair she had owned for twenty six years all but disappeared.  Thankfully, I was able to know what she was speaking about, although at that moment, I could not find much humor in it.

Each day at the end of our phone calls we always exchange our daily kisses . We have been doing this for years. These are the kisses that I cherish and never take for granted. Not this day, for the very first time she refused to throw me my kisses. Is this an awakening call to me, that her Alzheimer's was progressing?

As if mom had a sixth sense knowing that I was concerned, she became once again alive and returned back to "life". Elaine her caregiver had told me that while they were having breakfast mom wanted to know if she was eating an egg. This did put a smile on my face just hearing this silly little question of hers. The question of the egg for me became the symbol that her world was reopening .

Mom got on the phone with a reawakening in her description of how she use to live in New York. She remembered after moving to Florida that she still came up to visit us. I had mentioned that we were having a few snow flakes and she added, " please drive carefully so that I could make sure that you will be safe." She continued to tell me this was the most important thing along with our health.

I have noticed that whenever  mom returns back to "life", she always speaks about our health and how important it is.  She reminds me, without this, we have nothing. So for her the meaning of life lies within how fortunate we are to have our health and to wake up each morning .

As the week came to an end and mom enthusiastically threw me my kisses, she shared with me how lucky we both were, since we were" in love." At that moment she became enlightened ,and my heart was enormously filled with deep affection. This for me, signified the meaning of life.


  1. What a lovely story, dementia and Alzheimer's in a loved one is heartbreaking to witness. Hold on to those lucid moments, they are precious. The most heartbreaking aspect for me personally was when my 93 year old Mum did not recognize me or my sister. Telling her we were her daughters made no difference, to her we were strangers. She was by then unaware of her loss it was my heart that was broken.

    1. Somewhere, I do beleive that your mum in her heart was aware of your's and your sister's touches and warmth. She just could not express it. Hugs to you, Lisa

  2. Indeed lovely.....the tiny moments, those times that can be so difficult to accept yet we must move beside our love one who fails the memory or the word.

    My mom shared a similiar concern of my driving to her home. If it was sprinkling she didn't think I should drive. Whenever I left her home she wanted me to call her to make sure I had arrived home safe and sound. All very sweet.

    The word loss...aphasia?

    And to Jane who wrote above...I felt your pain of your mom not knowing you...hold close to your loved ones...many more share the loss.

  3. Ellen,your comments are so meaningful to me and I'm sure to many who as caregivers suffer.

  4. "I love you Mum", I say each day
    and she still smiles and says, "O! The feeling is mutual my pet".

    It simply makes our day.

    1. Hi Anonymous, When I read your message "I love you mum" and read her answer to you, it just melted my heart.Hugs to you & mum.