You, Me and Alzheimer’s

February 4, 2013

Warning: This is an up-close post about an aging family. If you’re having a bad day or were looking for light reading, click away. We can meet up another time. Or, here goes…

My mom’s Alzheimer’s/dementia/whatever-you-call-this-horrible disease has reached a point where two of my greatest fears have come true: She no longer recognizes me and she can’t live at home anymore.

In the messy aftermath, I realized there was an even greater fear lurking — that my mother wouldn’t love me anymore. But, my sweet mom showed this would never be the case, no matter how much Alzheimer’s separated us. And, she did so on a card game score pad during my recent visit.

She loves, loves, loves playing cards and she also loves winning, which means we always keep score. Since she didn’t know who I was, she just wrote “You” and “Me” at the top of the sheet. When I saw that, my mind hurtled back to something she said during a phone conversation this past summer, when she wasn’t so sick.

When I was hanging up, I told her that I loved her, just as I always do. Then, she answered in a sing-song voice, “I love you and you love me and that’s the way it will always be.”

So, despite what is awaiting mom, me and the rest of our family, I know there will always be love. And, hopefully, lots more card games.

You and Me, August 2011

You and Me, August 2011





9 Responses to “You, Me and Alzheimer’s”

  1. Oh, Lynn, this must be so hard. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and remained sweet and loving even though she didn’t know us. Thinking of you and praying for you during this difficult time.

  2. Lorraine Says:

    You have a beautiful way with words. I know that deep in your mom’s mind and heart there is no greater love than what she feels for her family. We will just continue to show her how much we love her in return.

  3. Janet Says:

    Beautifully put. We lost my father-in-law to this disease so I know how hard it is to see your loved one change. Thinking of you.

  4. Hi Lynn! I’m a friend of Claudia’s. Thanks for your piece. I think you might enjoy what I wrote about my Mom here, at least the first half, up to the ***:

    By the way, after 11 years, it seems the only thing that ever mattered to me was that I felt our connection and love. I never cared that she didn’t know my name or that I’m her son of 60 years.


    as the article describes, I wound up creating a book for her because I discovered there were over 20,000 books available for caretakers, and only 3 or 4, including mine, for the PATIENT! Amazing. http://www.blueskywhiteclouds.com

  5. Thanks so much for the kind thoughts everyone. Eliezer, I appreciate you writing and letting me know about your book and your experiences. We’re watching it, but mom’s living it. Glad to know about something that could help make her days easier.

  6. deedee310 Says:

    Hi Lynn, I am Diane…My Mom is Josephine, age 90 with dementia since2009. In June of 2012, I had to put her in nursing care, in a dementia unit. She was admitted with stage “3.5” of the disease and it has progressed quite quickly in 7 months to stage 5. She is now 90% bedridden, wearing diapers, eating pureed foods and off all meds except for blood pressure. This is a devastating, emotional disease, I only wish I understood better than I had since Mom being diagnosed. I thought it was related to aging. Until one day last year, I met a woman employed at the local Alzheimer’s Group. Her dad had dementia and had passed away. I asked her what did he die from? She said…”DEMENTIA”. She then told me the true facts about dementia and I explored the rest on my own. There is so much I can write; but in fact, I am trying to go up and visit with my Mom. That’s the difficult part of my days since June…I am 90 mins. away from where she is so it’s 3 hrs. of time just driving back and forth. BUt, I , as well as my own family and extended family/siblings, are faithful to God and grateful, too. While this disease is progressive and such an emotional roller coaster, especially for our Moms, we have time to share with them our feelings, give them our love, our support and ourselves. Many do not have that chance, do they? Perhaps we can communicate via wordpress about it? I just stumbled upon this today by way of a youtube on my facebook about a granddaughter and her grandmother. I must write to this young woman…her grandmother died from dementia last year.
    Be blessed today and God Bless your Mom xo.

  7. Diane, thanks for writing and sharing. Sorry to hear about your mother! I would appreciate the chance to talk. Write me at lynn@lynnwoolf.com.

    To both Diane and Eliezer, we have newborn lambs on our farm. We’ll name the two ewe lambs Josephine and Manya in honor of your beautiful mothers.

  8. deedee310 Says:

    Dear Lynn, My Mom passed away on February 16th. I hope to share with you more information if you would like. But, with my most heartfelt thanks, It makes me smile to know that somewhere in Kansas a little lamb named JOSEPHINE is frolicking around with her pals on the farm xox. Sincerely, Diane Honan

  9. Diane, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Our prayers go up for Josephine and all your family. I’ll be in touch through email. My deepest condolences.

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