Trying To Figure Out Who My Mom With Alzheimer's Thinks She Is


My Mom 1940s


I cannot get out of my mind the song Alfie; "What's it all about Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live?"

As I sit and ponder what really exists in my mother's mind I cannot help but wonder who she thinks she is. Unfortunately, mom can no longer provide me the answers I yearn to hear.

In the world mom now lives in, each day, after she wakes up she is taken care of and fed by aides. We are lucky that after thirteen years of having Alzheimer's she still can speak.

After she is washed and dressed she is then placed in her Merry Walker where she spends hours walking the halls of the nursing home in search of something or someone.

Since mom became ill, I have never seen any tears fall from her eyes. Actually, as a child, I cannot even recall her crying after her own mother passed away. She once shared with me that she cried every day for over a year, in the bathroom, for no one else to see.

How I wish I could know who is that something or someone she is searching for. Is it her parents, or could it be me? Probably her parents since she frequently is speaking about them.

I realize how fortunate we are for that most days mom seems content as she throws kisses and tells all the employees that she loves them.

I read so much about Amyloid plaques and tangles yet the scientists are unable to understand what is really going on in the thinking process of people with this disease.

How I hunger to ask her; are you happy or are you sad? Are you frightened or are you okay? Are you lonely? Is there anything that you would like me to do for you? Is there something that you would like to tell me? Do you know what is happening to you? Can you understand how deeply I love you?

I know there is a universe that mom now lives in, one that is real to her. Yet for me I cannot help but wonder what is going on in her world. So as the song goes "What's it all about Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live?"

I realize there are things that I will never understand and questions that will never be answered, yet as her daughter I need to believe that in her world she is sound, safe and happy.

After all these years, as each day goes by, Alzheimer's still remains a mystery to all of us.

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