The Mother Who Forgets
On this Mother’s Day, one woman stands in the forefront of my heart. My own mother who put up with morning sickness, adolescent questions and teenage angst so that I could grow up. This was the woman who worked extra hours to pay for my piano lessons. Although tired from a twelve-hour workday, this mother attended every recital, cheered me through every softball game and applauded every dramatic performance. Mom sewed new clothes to help me fit in with my peers. She saved from every paycheck to make sure I would graduate from college without debt. She drove me to the library each week and helped me check out stacks of books; then cheered my first published article.
This is also the woman who now forgets when I call and loses the cards I send. Alzheimer’s slowly and brutally takes my mother away from me.
During Easter weekend, I wrapped her Mother’s Day present and left it with my sister. She’ll give it to Mom, but then it will mysteriously disappear or some invisible person will steal it. One of the horrid symptoms of Alzheimer’s is paranoia, and my mother oozes with it. Mom will forget that I gave her a gift, and she will wonder why I forgot.
On Mother’s Day, I will call Mom and once again tell her that I love her. She will forget that I called, but I need to do it anyway – for my sake, if not for hers. Someday she will not be able to answer the phone. I grieve her gradual disappearance, because I know how precious it is to be a mother. I am certain that somewhere deep inside, she also hates the woman she has become.
Life changes so quickly, and every day is precious. From the desire to conceive to the longing to remember, mothers wrap themselves around our hearts. No matter how old we become, no matter how many miles separate us – that love never lets us go.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible women out there – whoever you are and whatever season you are in. Treasure each day and the loved ones who surround you. Memorize their faces and cache their voices in your heart. Then pray to God that you never forget.