Some days are tough with Mom. For much of the past six months, I have had a lot less time and energy for her as my work demands have increased. At the same time, Mom’s illness has gotten only worse and communication has become quite simple.
And yet, for the time being, Mom and I can communicate in what I am coming to feel are some of the most important ways. She feels loved. She feels taken care of. She knows to trust me.
I know this is not everyone’s experience with dementia and I count myself incredibly lucky to be thus far avoiding some of the bad temperedness, aggression and other symptoms that often accompany this illness. Yet it is still hard and often heartbreaking. I spent a lot of time this November finding myself crying in reaction to so many of my interactions with Mom.
But, the other morning my mother said probably the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me. First thing in the morning when I saw Mom, she gave me a huge hug and said, “you really know how to love people.” We both teared up as she hugged me with a long hug.
These words were a gift. They were a gift that I know I need to lock away in a tight memory box for quickly approaching days when she can no longer express herself with words. I will need to remember this moment, for both of us.