We were blessed in that she came to understand early on that I would always care for her.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
The following was written by our reader Constance under the article, The Ordinary Acts We Perform Lead to Joy.
I hope you will consider sharing this with family, friends, in support groups, and on message boards.
Twelve days ago, four days after her 85th birthday, my beloved mother died after suffering a stroke two weeks prior.
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It had been my good fortune to spend most of the last twenty three years with her, looking after her, and in recent years watching more and more of her memories fade.
She was joyful, happy, loving and sweet.
Fortunately for both of us she was able to spend the last few years of her life attending an amazing Adult Day Center so that I could continue to work and support us. There she found wonderful friends.
Nevertheless it was still an arduous job and I admit I was exhausted.
But if I had a choice I would take her back in a heartbeat. I miss bathing her sweet little form, curling her lovely thick hair and walking hand in hand, as well as the more difficult parts of caregiving.
My world did became smaller and my work day got longer and my body was tired. We had no family and as most caregivers know, well meaning friends have their own lives and
find it difficult to understand that in the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to usher our loved ones to the end of their lives.
I can't blame them for their busy lives.
I'm sad not everyone experiences the same type as journey as we did.
We were blessed in that she came to understand early on that I would never leave her and would always take care of her if it was physically possible.
Our joy was huge. We watched the birds and squirrels together every morning before I would bundle her up to "travel" on the day center bus.
We saw wonder everywhere and it was a glorious, difficult life.
What I have read on this site proved true for us. She needed safety and smiles. Those were the elements that worked.
Instead of giving into anger and frustration we sang and laughed when things went wrong.
I never left her. My head lay on her chest as I listened to her last soft breath and felt her gentle heart stop.
She was my beloved and I was hers.
It should be noted that from 1962 to 1990 my Mother was my brother's caregiver.
Caring for his caregiver was the best thing I have ever done.
It comforts me to think they are happy once again in each other's arms.
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Editor note: all emphasis and bolding are mine.
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