Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia

How to love.


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.


Author: notquitetheplan

I am a mid-30s single girl, trying to climb the ladder, get a date... and make sure Mom takes her meds. It's not where I expected to be. But it's where I am and this blog is about embracing that.

7 thoughts on “How to love.

  1. Thanks for sharing such a precious moment.

  2. I recounted an anecdote in my book, “What to Do about Mama?” It went like this: [When I was an assessor for the Area Agency on Aging] “I was moved to tears by a gentleman who had ‘retired’ early to care for his mother with advanced dementia. He told me, “Miss Barb, my mother does not know who I am. But at night, when we sit on the couch watching TV with my arm around her and her head on my shoulder, it is all worthwhile.” (p. 31) So even without word, or without “remembering” her son, this woman remembered how to love. It’s what kept him going through VERY difficult circumstances. I know you will relate.

  3. Definitely something to treasure in the times to come. Knowing that your mum felt loved by you will always be a comfort to you.

  4. That is a gift from your mother that will be everlasting. Beautiful.

  5. Your bond is so touching NQTP. An honour to read…

  6. How lovely. It is so nice to hear words of love from the ones we are caring for, especially when it is least expected.

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