One Memory

I would hold on to the sweet memory of scooping my young children into my arms after they’ve played outside on a warm summer day, kissing them on their sweaty necks and taking in their delicious scent, smelling all their imaginary play, their new discoveries, their hopes and dreams.

But this isn’t how it plays out.

An Alzheimer sufferer becomes the child and this sweet memory of a mother with her children will not survive.  The Alzheimer’s “child” will find THEMSELVES in the arms of their imaginary mother who is holding and comforting them.   And as the mother inhales everything this child is and was, the “child” will whisper in her ear “help me.”

2 thoughts on “One Memory”

  1. I remember all the times my mother was there for me, brushing my hair as I lay in an iron lung in 1952, walking to and from a rented room in downtown Minneapolis for weeks at a time in order to spend time with me at General Hospital, washing out her seersucker two-piece dress and hanging it to dry every night because there were no laundry facilities nearby. She stayed at the hospital most of the day when I was in the acute stage of polio.
    When I recovered enough to use a wheelchair, she encouraged me to do all that I could for myself. Through high school and college I kept getting more self-sufficient.
    She suffered a severe stroke when I was living with her. It left her unable to initiate
    conversational speech, she was confused, and probably unable to understand much of what was said to her. She lived seven more years in a nursing home, helpless, dependent on around- the- clock assistance. It made my heart ache to watch her decline. I visited her almost every day, fed her when I was there at a mealtime, took her laundry home, washed her clothes, and took them back to her room to hang in the closet. She lost weight. Sometimes I found her in need of attention and I had to report that to the nurse.
    If only she had been spared that seven years of discomfort, then suffering, before she died at the age of 92. I think she knew who I was until the end of her life. I wish I could have done more for her. She was a wonderful mother.

    1. Mary Ellen, Thank you for sharing your touching story. The love of a mother and child is sacred and the bond is deep. I would imagine the bond with your mother was strengthened beyond the norm with the physical hurdles you had to overcome — and with your mom by your side. You are so fortunate you had each other — you in the beginning, and your mother in the end. I’m sure there was great comfort for both of you during those times. Thank you again Mary Ellen, it’s always so nice to hear from you. ~ Joanne

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