My Mom's Had Alzheimer's For 12 Years, And This Is All I Can Do


Picture taken by me in 1988

This is my mother 26 years ago. A lot has changed since then. My dad passed away 22 years ago and my son Logan is now 28-years-old. For the last three years mom has been living in a nursing home. Except for Alzheimer's and macular degeneration she takes no medication and is in perfect health.

In many ways my family has a lot to celebrate and be thankful for. Occasionally friends will ask this one question of me. "How is your mom doing?" I often answer, "my mom is doing good considering that she's had Alzheimer's for the last 12 years."

Several weeks ago I stopped to really think about this question. I thought about mom, a lady who has no idea about the life she once lived.

She no longer understands that she needs to get dressed each day, brush her teeth, or comb her hair.

She never thinks about what she'd like to eat, or what restaurant she'd like to go to.

She has no idea what has transpired in the world or that we just celebrated Thanksgiving.

She has no fear of Ebola or terrorism.

She does not understand that her only grandchild just got married. In fact she does not really remember that she has a grandchild.

She no longer needs to think about what friend she might like to spend the day with, or what movie she would like to go see.

She no longer has to make any decisions on whether she'd like to take a walk in the park, stroll on the beach, or go to her favorite museum.

She does not remember that she was married for 50 years. She does not remember giving birth to her two children.

She never has to decide where she'd like to go on vacation or what country she'd like to travel to. Life for her has certainly become "carefree".

Mom has no understanding of how her life has been wiped away by such a horrific disease. So how is my mom doing? She'd doing good, and how am I doing? I'm also doing good, which is a conscious decision that I have made.

Today there is no cure for Alzheimer's. So as long as I believe that my mom is "happy" and not in any pain the only thing left for me to do, is to love her completely.

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