This is the first year I will not call her on Mother’s Day.
What’s the use?
She cannot hear what I say. She will not remember it is Mother’s Day. She does not care about the passage of time.
Each day is the same as the day before. She waits in the world of Alzheimer’s where time moves backward. Clarity only occurs in the distant past.
She will remember me as a child, finishing my chores, then perched in my tree with another library book or my five-year diary.
But thankfully – although we are hundreds of miles apart, I still remember her. I have already sent the frilly card. On Sunday, I will also send my thoughts and prayers through the universe.
God, oh God, you will whisper “I love you” to her – won’t you?
This Alzheimer’s journey is such an ironic place of memory versus reality.
I could use this space to laud her for years of mothering, for practical lessons taught and for the courage she always displayed.
Appropriate adjectives for her life would include: strong, resolute, determined.
These traits still show up when she occasionally complains that someone has stolen her teeth or broken into her home.
More of the hysteria of dementia.
Since the present is so unpleasant, we have only past memories to connect us.
My sister will read my card to her. Mom may wonder at my signature. She will not fathom that who I miss is not the present mother but the one who became confidante, friend and encourager.
I am grateful her brave heart still beats. The connection still exists.
To lose a mother is to cease hearing the heartbeat that nurtured us in the womb.
To lose the one person who is eternal cheerleader, even when we both age beyond the boundaries that held us close.
So I will pray for her on Mother’s Day, knowing the eternal Abba will hold each of us close.
And I will look at her picture, miss the woman she was, even as I hope for Alzheimer’s end.