Jan 18, 2014

Memories - Her Mother Remembered 1957, But Not Right Now

Here mother, who lives with Alzheimer's, remembered a life changing moment from 1957; but, couldn't remember they had just finishing taking a walk.
As you might have guess, I have started a diary of my journey with my mom Lizza.

We were taking on of our famous walks and I decided to start asking questions about her life.

Walking in the Mountians, Alzheimer's Reading Room' border=

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By Rena McDaniel
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I wondered about all the things I never knew and was suddenly faced with the fact that my mom is losing her memory. I wonder about things I want to know desperately.

So I decided to ask her on this particular day.

Mom, I asked, you grew up in coal mine country Eastern Kentucky with a preacher for a father, your mom, and ten brothers and sisters.

How did you end up moving to Covington, KY at the age of 17?

I had never thought of this before.

Mom is a quiet lady who has never tasted alcohol or the taste of a cigarette and the worst thing to come out of her mouth until recently, that's another story, was the word sh**.

She walked along for a few minutes, the sun shining in her graying hair, a secret smile on her face, and she looked at me with the biggest grin like she had been waiting forever for me to ask her this question.

She answered, well my brother Junior (my uncle), was living and working in Covington and one day I decided I was sick of living in those dumb mountains, never seeing more, or doing anything so I got this idea .... daddy and mommy could barely read and whenever Junior would write they would ask me to read their letter.

So I snuck into daddy's drawer and snuck a piece of paper and got me a pencil and went to the outhouse.

I wrote mommy and daddy a letter from my brother.

I wrote that I had found a really good job for Lizza and that they should send her up on the bus to work and help him and his wife with their children. This was about 1957.

I snuck in the kitchen stole a penny from mommy's coin jar and walked to the store.

I bought myself an envelope and a stamp walked outside and addressed the letter to my daddy.

I walked home scared to death, knees just a shaking, went into the kitchen and announced 'You got a letter from Junior.'

Mommy said well hurry girl open up and read it.

So I did.  A week later I was on the bus to Covington. Boy, was Junior mad, but he never told a soul.

And I never lived in the mountains again.

As my mother told me this story,

I was dumbfounded!

I could not believe that my mother, this perfect person as far as I knew,  had never done a wrong thing in her life, pulled that off!

She met my father a year later and was married.

By this time, we were back in our kitchen. She looks at me and says

'Are we going to go on a walk today?' 

Go figure, the mysteries of memories!

I learn something new everyday whether I want to or not!

Rena McDaniel -- I live with my mother who has Alzheimer's Disease. It has changed my life but the surprising part is that it may have changed it for the better. I am now closer to her than I have ever been. I have created a blog titled "The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver". My motto is "Appreciate the Good, Laugh at the Crazy, and Deal with the Ugly!"

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