A few years ago, mom and dad were part of a study examining the challenges of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The local newspaper had written the results of this study in the Sunday paper. A few weeks later, they followed it up with a series of videos. Mom and dad featured are in the one below.
Mom was still able to speak in this video. The disease has taken that away from her now, and I love watching it because I get to hear her voice.
It was only a few months ago that mom spoke her last words to me. We were sitting on her bed one morning. I explained that she and dad were moving to a new home in a neighboring town. I hugged her and when we pulled apart, she looked at me and said, “I love you.”
I think of that moment often, wishing I could hear those words one more time.
Not long after our conversation, dad became ill, and spent several weeks in a hospital. He is better now but the recovery time is slow, leaving him unable to care for mom.
She now resides in a nursing home. I am not sure dad will recover enough to be able to take care of her again, but we take that one day at a time.
For now, I pick mom up every Saturday morning and take her home to be with dad. Her eyes light up every time she walks in the door and sees him. She kisses him then sits next to him while holding his hand.
Mom doesn’t let this debilitating disease get the best of her. She continues to care for us in the only way a wife and mother can.
When she is home with dad, she makes his bed and serves him food. She hands him a picture of the two of them from years ago as if to say, “Remember this?”
Mom also takes care of me. She reaches for my hand when we walk.
She comforts me when grief threatens to overwhelm.
She makes me laugh with silly facial expressions.
And she reminds me to cherish each moment.
Mom may not be able to remember how to do most simple tasks, but she has not forgotten how to love.