I know for sure there are loads of you out there taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, and you understand the roller coaster ride it can be. Watching my mom transform from a strong, confident, opinionated woman to a scared, confused, guilt-ridden dependent has been tough. What a gift to find my old Mom peeking through for a few minutes on a random morning!
My parents live in an in-law suite in my home. Each night I set up an outfit for Mom to wear the next day. In the morning, I check in and give them a hand getting ready for the day. I fix Mom’s hair – she has a spot that is perpetually flat and mussed from her head resting on her pillow. Some days, Mom will not wear what I put out, will change repeatedly – removing even her underwear in the process. Some days, Mom will don on too many clothes: a button-down, a fleece vest, a second fleece vest during a July heat wave. Mom “puts on her face” every day, with varying degrees of success. On more than one occasion, Mom has used ballpoint pen instead of eyebrow pencil. Last week, she somehow managed to use a black pen on one eyebrow and a blue on the other!
Imagine my surprise and delight when I came downstairs to find Mom dressed, hair combed, and her make-up spot on – including brown eyebrows. Moreover, I found her looking in the mirror, adjusting her clothes and asking if she looked okay. I was floored! Dad was equally dumbfounded, catching my eye to make silent faces of surprise and delight. What a great morning! Could Mom tell me where she was going or what had happened the night before? No, of course not. But, for a few fabulous moments while we chatted, she was speaking easily in full sentences with confidence. What a delicious treat!
Does anyone else experience such breakthrough moments with loved ones? Please share!