Friday, February 22, 2013



Mom has become in many ways my favorite Valentine.  Each day when I phone her, she is so excited to hear my voice.  It seems that she has in some ways spread her wings and embraced the joy that remains in her life.  In my heart, I do believe that some of her affection comes from the warmth and caring that she receives from both her caregivers.

At one time it was quite difficult to have mom leave her home, although she now appears to enjoy going out with “the ladies”.” Mom, I hear that you are going dancing today.” She responds that when her friends take her out she will always go.  She chirps in with “it’s always good to have fun and it’s even better to get out.” “Yes mom, I totally agree with you.” Yet I must admit that whenever she is out, she only wants to go back home.  That’s the disease speaking, surely not my mom.

Before mom got Alzheimer’s she was someone that always went out.  She walked each day for exercise, swam in the swimming pool in her community, went to lectures at her clubhouse, and participated in different women’s group.

One of the first signs of her having Alzheimer’s was when she became all confused about the clubs and lectures starting over  again after the summer came to an end.  I should have realized then that something was happening to her.  Could I have been in a state of denial ?  Her younger brother already had Alzheimer’s, yet not my mom.  The thought never even occurred to me.

Mom expressed to me that she wished that I lived near her, so that I could come by and sit down and visit with her.  How I wish I did, yet this is impossible.  Sometimes she thinks she lives in New York and other times, she knows that she left here many years ago.  I’m not even sure if she understands the distance that lies between us.

 Life has its funny ways of turning out.  Sometime’s what may seem so tragic can in some strange way be a turning point is someone’s life.   For me I was given a second chance to have such an unconditional love for my mother.  It was not always like this, yet so many years have transpired since she became ill, and my deep love and affection for her have only grown.

Life is a gift. Love is also a gift, and hearing her say to me as we hang up the telephone, “I love you and I love your kisses,” only makes me realize again how very fortunate I am.  She really is my sweetheart and my special Valentine.

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