SHARING OUR LOVE
We all have pictures of our families that fill our hearts with joy. Some are taken during special occasions and others are just celebrating being together. As I look at this photo it brings me back to warm memories of when mom, my son and I were younger, enjoying a beautiful summer day at the lake.
It became a ritual for mom to leave Florida and visit for two weeks each summer. After she became ill the trips became more difficult being away from her own familiar setting.
Who would have imagined that one day mom would never be able to recognize who was in this picture. For her it is not just seeing who we are, it is also "knowing"who we are. Although we are her family she still cannot recognize us. Nor does she have any memories of these visits that she once looked so forward to.
Life certainly can be complicated yet understanding this disease truly amazes me. What makes Alzheimer's so powerful is that week by week it has crept into my mother's brain and removed what was once her life. It has stolen almost all of her memories leaving her with an empty existence.
I have accepted mom's fate and am grateful that most days I am able to appreciate what we still have left. In three weeks I will be visiting and spending one precious month with her. My heart is filled with mixed emotions; excited and nervous all at the very same time.
The clock is ticking and I have no idea how much longer mom will be able to recognize or even speak to me. As of now she is still mobile, yet she is totally dependent on her aides for everything else.
After ten long years of witnessing mom loose her independence, I also know that she certainly is one of the lucky ones. Her younger brother passed away rather quickly from this disease, so out of this I do not take anything for granted.
This trip is so meaningful for it may be my last time to spend some quality time with her before she totally fades away. Each moment, no matter how difficult some may be, I want to cherish whatever smiles, touches and kisses that I can get from her, and to return all the love I feel for her.
Hopefully with each of us spreading awareness about this disease, maybe one day, we will be able to celebrate living in a world free of Alzheimer's.
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