Mom has no idea that today is Mother's Day. It is just another day that means nothing in Alzheimer's world. With that, comes the realization that I cannot even verbally wish my mother a special day. Anything out of the ordinary does nothing but upset her. She no longer sees the beauty in a flower. She can no longer appreciate the meaning of kind words meant just for her. It is easy to forget that this frail person was once my mother. Easy, because she is not the person who raised me. Most of the time I don't even call her Mom, because in her words "I can't be your mother. You're too old and I'm better looking than you."
So, I will honor her by remembering the mother that she was to me:
-Mom quit work so that she could be a nanny to my children. I will remember telling her that at 35, I was single and pregnant. She said, "Thank God. I was afraid you would never know the joy of being a mother."
-She taught me not to accept bigotry and intolerance. "God doesn't see skin color."
-I remember her teaching me to cook by just tossing ingredients in until it "looks right" (ok, that one isn't a great example, lol).
-She also taught me manners, "If someone takes the time to say thank you, then you have the time to say you're welcome."
-I will remember learning to appreciate the simple things. She used to load us up in the car, stop and buy a pound of bologna, a loaf of bread and a six pack of soda. She would drive us up into the hills to a creek where she would drop the sodas into the water to get cold. And we would have picnic and a special day of fun. Or she would buy a lug of tomatoes and let us eat them to our hearts' content. We thought we were the luckiest kids in the world.
-She taught me to look at life from another person's perspective. When I was 16, we were talking about organ donations. After a lifetime of eye surgeries and four-eyes jokes, I commented that I would donate everything but my eyes because not even a scientist would want them. She replied rather firmly, "A blind person would be grateful for your sight." I never felt sorry for the blessings of my eyes again.
But, most importantly, my mother taught me that loving my children is the most important thing that I will ever do. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.