Thursday, November 01, 2012


A month or so ago, we took Mom to a new doctor.  Thankfully, instead of putting her through the 30 question 'mini-mental' to assess her cognitive skills, he asked her questions in a friendly, conversational tone.  He was so kind. Dad and I were  impressed.  And grateful.

One of the questions he asked was, "Who is that?"  as he pointed to me.

Mom could not come up with my name or the fact that I was her daughter.  She stumbled over her words for a moment, but then responded, "That's my best friend."

I cherish that exchange.

I've read several books on Alzheimer's over the past seven years.  Intellectually I knew that the day would come when she would no longer know me.  However, knowing it intellectually and experiencing it are two completely different things.

Over the past week or so, Mom has treated me with hostility.  My mom, who always told us, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.",

I have now experienced not being known by my own mother.
 I am a stranger entering her house, telling her what to do, what to wear.  Who wouldn't resent that?

It would be tempting to be hurt or even angry, but this is Alzheimer's nature - not Mom's..  Up until a month ago, I could still tell everyone how sweet she was and how thankful we were for that.

The day that your own mother, who carried you, delivered you, nursed you, held you, fed you, cared for you, worried about you, prayed for you...loved you, doesn't know you is ...well, it is hard to describe.
How kind of GOD to lead our choir director to pick out this song at this time.  I meditate on these words over and over again:

He knows my name. 
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call.

He know me, He loves me with an everlasting love and holds me in the palm of His Hand.

 He will never leave me or forsake me.  Or forget me.

He knows my name.


Mama and Papa Shep said...

I have a dear friend whose mom eventually did not recognize her as her daughter. My friend shared that on one occasion, her mother told her, "I don't know who you are, but you are always so nice to me when you come to visit." I think it meant a lot to her....she was recognized and appreciated in some capacity by her mom who no longer knew her name.

tnfarmgirl said...

I remember the day when Daddy didn't know me anymore. It was the hardest day of all of his Alzheimer days for me. It is such a bizarre moment when it comes...even though you know it is coming. I understand the hostility also and again it is hard. But He is faithful and just and always with you. His compassion and grace abound for you. Praying that our wonderful Father wraps His arms around you and ministers to you as you minister to your parents. May you find comfort in all the good things He bestows each day.
Much love,

Anonymous said...

Hugging you from afar. Linda D.