Does My Mom With Alzheimer's Know It's Mother's Day?

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Mom & Me 1954

Alzheimer's -- Does Mom Know It's Mother's Day?

Several months ago I was asked to write a letter to my mom which was then published in a book called "Letter to My Mom." Reading other letters, I realized that I was not the only one who, at one time, had a fractured relationship with their mother. Actually a relationship that needed healing.

Mom for the last 12 years has Alzheimer's and since she became ill, my relationship with her has totally transformed. I'm not sure why it changed and yet I am so grateful that I was given a second chance to love her unconditionally.

I have realized that my mother taught me so much about life, even when I was unable to recognize it. She was a lady who showed me strength, integrity mixed with "tough" love. Whether at the moment I realized it or not, I now know that she was always there for me and loved me with all her heart, only wanting the very best for me.

As Mother's Day approaches I once again reflect on what the meaning of a mother is to me. I would like to share some definitions that I have found.

"A mother is someone who loves unconditionally and places the needs of her children above her own, on a personal level, and not only with words, but also actions."

"A mother is the woman who raises you, who is there for you to hold and comfort you when you are sick or hurt, the woman who laughs with you, who cries with you, who loves you, even when you aren't exactly lovable."

"A person who gives birth is a mother. A person who raises a child is mother. A person who loves and cares for a child is a mother."

Twenty eight years ago I myself became a mother. I vividly remember when I was pregnant and the day that my son entered the world. I melted as I held him in my arms for that very first time. I was so nervous since motherhood was something brand new to me. As challenging as it sometimes can be, for me being a mother was one of the greatest gifts in the world.

I'm sure that as a mother I could have handled some things differently, yet I hope that my son knows how very much I love him. As my mom drifts further and further away and our roles have reversed, it is a privilege for me to love, cherish and care for her as she had once did for me.

So today on Mother's day I want to take the time to honor my mother. Even though mom has no idea that it is Mother's Day, I do, and I want to celebrate who she is.

Each one of us who has a mother with Alzheimer's, or has lost a mother to this disease, knows that whether they can recognize us or not, they will always be our mother.

I would like to ask you to take a moment and reflect on how lucky we are to have had our mothers. This disease might have stolen them from us, yet not all the love that they feel in their hearts for us.

How lovely it is if we can all celebrate our mothers whether they had dementia or not. I love my mom deeply and would like to wish all the mom's a very Happy Mother's Day.

As Mother's Day approaches MY MOM MY HERO is a wonderful gift for your mom or to give yourself honoring your mother.

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