May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Without My Mom, Dotty

I really missed the remarks that I know Dotty would have made if she had been walking with me (or riding in the wheelchair). Dotty would have had something to say about the people, or the dogs, or the tattoos, or the flowers. Dotty always had observations all her own.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room 


Mother's Day Without My Mom, Dotty
My mother, Dotty, went to Heaven on May 25, 2012. This was my first Mother's Day without her.

To be honest last year's Mother's Day wasn't very good as Dotty was confined to bed and dying. I really don't remember much if anything about that day.

This year it was if the idea of Mother's Day just wouldn't stick in my mind. It just wouldn't stick. I didn't wake up thinking its Mother's Day like I did on Christmas day, or New Year's day, or Valentine's day.

I have Dotty here with me, so once I realized it was Mother's Day I did say, Happy Mother's Day Dotty.

Why was it that I couldn't seem to remember it was Mother's Day?

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In the afternoon I didn't have any plans so I decided to go for a walk in downtown Delray Beach. I walked the entire length of the downtown/beach area back and forth and some of the side streets - about 3 miles I think. There are 83 bars and restaurants along this route.

I saw quite a few women sitting in outdoor restaurants with their families. Many had flowers. I also saw quite a few women walking along holding flowers. When I could catch their eye, I smiled and said Happy Mother's Day.

As seems to be the case with me these days, I somehow relate back what I am doing and wonder if I could have included Dotty. To be more specific I am still getting new, different, and good idea of things that I could have done with Dotty, or that I can relate to you, the readers of the ARR, to try.

So while I was walking along I wondered why I was not more insistent sooner on Dotty getting into and using the wheelchair. Dotty' famous words, "I'll kill myself before I get in a wheelchair".

Well with most things Alzheimer's this proved to be untrue. Once I convinced Dotty, or I should say once I convinced Dotty along with the help of Jeannemarie, to get in the wheelchair we did use it quite a bit. We used it to get to the pool and back for instance.

I didn't write about this much but during the last 6 months Dotty could barely walk. We had to use the wheelchair to get from the door of our home to the car, or to go see Jim and Ruth.

During that period I started wheeling Dotty around the neighborhood for her daily bright light injections. We had a very good time while we were doing this.

For example, once we encountered a duck sitting in the street right in front of us. I had a grand old time listening to Dotty encouraging the duck to get out of the street before his butt got run over. Of course, Dotty spoke to the duck using her more choice words she learned while growing up in south Philly.

So anyway, while I was walking around in Delray yesterday I wondered to myself, why didn't I take Dotty on this walk? It was certainly doable with the wheelchair. Why didn't I? Lazy? Too much of a challenge? Or, it just never crossed my mind?

I can say, I would definitely take Dotty on that walk now if she were still here. It had many of the components that improved and allowed us to live our life to the fullest extent possible.

Bright light, lots of friendly smiling people, possible live socialization, dogs walking along, and lots of people sitting at outside restaurants. I have no doubt had we done this regularly, say every weekend, we would have acquired some Dementia Friends.

Why didn't I think of it?

Folks, you gotta get out there in the world. Find a nice place where you can mozy along and enjoy. You have to live your life.

Okay, now I will confess. I did have a little bit of Dotty with me in a locket I carry around in my pocket. So Dotty did go on the walk with yesterday.

I really missed the remarks that I know Dotty would have made if she had been walking with me (or riding in the wheelchair). Dotty would have had something to say about the people, or the dogs, or the tattoos, or the flowers. Dotty always had observations all her own.

I really miss hearing Dotty, and her often off the walk observations about people and things.

I missed her more as I typed this.

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The Alzheimer's Reading Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles, and the ARR has more than 343,000 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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