Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moms Alzheimer's

While setting up this blog this morning trying to find an appropriate background for it, I ran across this one that looked like a bed of peach colored roses. If I am being color blind, don't tell me! I chose it because peach was my Mother's favorite color, and roses were her favorite flower. Mom loved her flowers, and I dedicate this blog to her.

My Mom was good to me to the point that perhaps I was even a little bit spoiled. Okay, a lot spoiled. I was her only daughter, and her youngest of 4 children, so what do you expect? She worked side by side with my Father in the family business they built. Imagine being with your partner 24/7. They did it, and successfully. I don't recall them ever speaking even so much as a cross word to each other. It was true love, and respect.

My Mother could do anything she put her mind to. She knew how to do every kind of craft. Knitting, sewing and ceramics were her specialty though.  She also took up golf in her 40's and excelled at that as well. The things that most that knew my Mother remember her for though, is her infectious smile, and her voice. Yes, I said her voice. She had the most beautiful soprano voice I've ever heard in my life. Listening to her singing and playing her piano were just part of our life that I think until we were older we took for granted in our home.

I knew something was wrong with when she didn't want to sing, she got lost in her own neighborhood, and confused a internet instant message for a fax. I was so scared I thought she had a stroke or a brain tumor. After time and testing we would find out that she had Alzheimer's. She and Dad had retired early and moved to Florida, only to find out she had Alzheimer's? This must be a cruel joke.

Mom lived 7 more years after that, all of them steadily downhill. By the end she didn't know any of us we don't think, except for Dad. We got the feeling she still knew him. Of course there was no way to know for sure, because Alzheimer's had stolen her ability to speak. All she could do was mumble. It was especially hard if she would mumble with what looked like a painful look on her face, and you knew she was either troubled by something or in pain, yet you were clueless how to help her.

In the end, Mom went with all of us surrounding her bed. Though she lay with her eyes closed, we played her favorite music next to her bed. Her left leg kept slipping off the bed onto the floor and I would put it back up on the bed, until finally, shocked, I realized what she was doing. While non-responsive in every other way, under the care of hospice, with all of us standing vigil by her bed, she was sliding her foot to the floor, and tapping her foot, to the beat of the music. Just in case I was imagining it, I put her leg back up on the bed. Plop, her leg went right back down, and she was tapping her foot again, to the beat of the music we played for her. Knowing that she could hear we talked and prayed until she passed from her earthly life, to her heavenly one.  She still sings, now with a choir of angels. That beautiful voice is back. No Alzheimer's can stop her from singing now.


  1. My grandmother (who raised me) had brain cancer. Not the same thing, but the results are the same. By the end she couldn't communicate. It was hard. She tried to hard and we didn't know what she wanted or how to help her.

    Forgetting my life, whether through brain cancer or Alzheimer's is my biggest fear.

  2. Nancy, I thank you for sharing. If reading this teaches me anything, it is to live my life to the fullest as well as surround myself by family and friends who care about and love me. Nancy, you will never walk alone.

    God Bless

  3. That is a beautiful tribute to your mother Nancy. I hope you enjoy blogging, I find it very therapeutic myself and it is a huge distractions from life's problems. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.

  4. Nancy this is a beautiful remembrance of your mom, I look forward to reading more of your writing.

  5. Nancy this is beautiful to read makes u realize how we need to cherish our lives and what we have health wise.You are a remarkable woman to dont know if I could have your strength.Its wonderful to have gotten to know about you and your family .Hope we can stay in touch for a long time and get to know each other better.

  6. Nancy, thanks so much for sharing. I know you miss your Mom very much. She sounded like such a wonder woman. And I know she also felt so very blessed to have a wonderful daughter like you. I know she loved all the time you spent with her. I also was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with my Dad before he passed in 2006. He had dementia and I, like you, will always be so thankful that God gave me such a wonderful Dad and that I was able to spend so much quality time with him. Just think, when we get to heaven, we will get to spend eternity with them and continue to spend wonderful time with them...except that they will be well and happy. To know that our loved ones are alive with God now and happy has always brought me comfort. I pray that God will minister to you, His love, joy and peace and give you much healing, hope and comfort.

  7. I feel for you! I do Inhome care, and my clients are the elderly and some have mental issue which could be Alzheimer or dementia or cancer or mental illness, and I also end up protecting them from family or friends or even other clients that take advantage of them financially. :( I adore reading the notes/blogs here about LOVE and Family and the memories you all have, God Bless you. It is so nice to read positive stories that surrounds a terrible illness. :)
    My Parents died when I was young, My Dad took his life in 1974 when I was 12 yrs old and my mom died from smoking when I was 27 yrs old.
    6 yrs ago, I lost my Precious Son in a car accident, He got into a car with some boys, they had an accident, the driver fled the scene and left my son behind, along with the others, but my son died and no one knew he was there, his body flew out of the car on impact. Long Story short, my son was only 15 yrs old. So that is my greatest lost. Now I focus on Missing children on my FB page, I feel for parents that are going through this, I only went through this for 5 hours of my son missing, I can't imagine, days, weeks, months or even years. It is nice meeting and getting to know nice folks like you guys and we did this by supporting Leah and Holly, 2 young ladies that we don't know but enjoy their talents. Bless you all :)

  8. Nice job, Thanks for sharing your experience! Looking forward to more of your writing. :)