Tuesday, December 1, 2015



Alzheimer's is a fascinating disease when compared to other illnesses for it storms in, attacks all of one's brain cells, eventually leaving nothing in its path. It deeply saddens me as I question how this is possible.

Even more frustrating is that my mom cannot describe to me what is happening to her. I can only guess what she may be thinking or feeling. Why, with most of her memory gone, does she still search all over for her parents? What makes her reverse back to her childhood even as she becomes more childlike?

I was fortunate to be able to speak to mom the other day which is not the usual. I shared with her by phone since I am a long distance caregiver how much I loved her and how special she was to me. She repeated the word "special" and then rambled on mixing up words so I had no clue what she was trying to say. I guess she understood what I said for one flashing moment as she quickly moved back into her own world. A world in which she now lives all alone.

I often feel like a pendulum myself swinging back and forth with my mixed up feelings concerning her. There are times when she can make me smile and other times when I wonder what her life is all about. My heartache is in thinking of her nonexistence.

I have been complimented on what a wonderful daughter I am and wish that I could truly own this. It took my mom getting dementia (twelve years ago) for me to love her the way I do. Before she became ill, of course I loved her, for she was my mother, yet my love and feelings for her were so different.

I regret that I was not aware of how much love for her existed inside me. I do know now how fortunate I was to be given a second chance to love her unconditionally. For this I am surely thankful.

Since mom does not know the difference of the world she now lives in, I as her daughter, am the one who is left to feel the pain. How I wish I could rescue her from this world of no return. The destructive world of Alzheimer's.
In four weeks I will be arriving in Florida with my husband to spend one month visiting mom at the nursing home. This is the second year that we were able to arrange this. Last year for all of us it was so meaningful. Mom became more and more “alive” as she greeted us each day. Of course she could not share this, yet in my heart I could feel it.
I loved being transformed from the “long distance caregiver” to mom’s “daily” caregiver. It was a feeling, although at moments quite difficult, of being able to care for my mom as she once had cared for me.

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