March, 2022

My mom passed away 4 years ago this month from Alzheimer’s.
I want to honor her today with encouragement for those who are joining their loved one in the journey of Alzheimer’s.

They say the mind forgets, but the heart never does. Alzheimer’s steals the ability to express oneself. Mom was losing language and much of what she said was jargon, mixed up words, all without meaning to the observer. But then there were rare days when very briefly she had clarity and she could say what she was thinking. I captured the following quotes from her during the last year and a half of her life in the Alzheimer’s care home.

August 19, 2016
Me: I’m Lisa and I’m your daughter. Mom: I heard, and I love you very much.

September 15, 2016
Mom: Oh, you’re a good one. I love seeing you my dear.

Septembers 25, 2016
Mom: You are so kind. You are so nice my, dear.

The day we transferred her to another living facility after her abuse. An unbelievable moment of clarity:
Mom: I hope you feel good. You are doing fine and I’m proud of you.
You don’t have to rush off. Sweet dreams darlin. So good to see you.

September 26, 2016
Mom: Please take me away.

Octobers 30, 2016
Mom: What can I do to remind myself of you? You are very beautiful my dear.

December 7, 2016
Mom: Are you here? Me: Yes, I am. Mom: Good! I love you. Please hold on. There you are.
I don’t want you to get upset. Is that alright? You are a good gal right here.
I want to see how you are doing. Me: I love you too! Mom: That’s good.

December 27, 2016
Mom: I like you. You are very wonderful. I know you well.
You are a good one my dear. Me: you are too. Mom: Ok. I’m sorry. Me: You don’t need to be sorry. Mom: Oh, ok you know better than me. You are a very pretty young lady.

December 29, 2016
Mom: It’s nice to have you here.

January 12, 2017
Mom: Come here. Let me give you a kiss. You’re sweet. You’re doing good. ME: How do you know? Mom: I just know.

March 12, 2017
Mom: You are such a good one. I love you. You are looking well. I love you so much.
You have been good my dear. You are a very good mother. You can stop working.

March 20, 2017
Mom: Don’t forget me.

April 7, 2017
Mom: I’m so tired I don’t know. You’re a good one. You are good looking.

May 26, 2017
Mom: Take me with you, okay? I want to get out myself. I’m tired. (I kissed her) Mom: that’s nice of you.

June 6, 2017
Mom: It will be ok. I’m just tired. I love you my dear. Me: I worry about you mom. I love you.
Mom: I love you, but I still don’t look good. I’m so tired, I don’t know what I’m doing.

June 16, 2017
Mom: I don’t want to leave you being tired and wonderful. Me: I’m your daughter, Lisa. Mom: Yes, and I like to be with you. I’m kind of a mess.

June 26, 2017
Mom: You’re beautiful! Me: You’re beautiful. Mom: Oh! Ok! I love you so very much

July 21, 2017
Mom: I love you. I love you. I appreciate you, know that. You’re beautiful. Me: I’m your daughter, Lisa. Mom: I hope so. I’m having a bad time. I don’t think I’ll be able to think. Me: It’s ok. Mom: But it is terrible.

July 31, 2017
Mom: You’re pretty, you have pretty eyes. I like you. Thank you for helping me. You’re nice.

August 9, 2017
Mom: You’re sweet.

August 19, 2017
Me: You can go home to Jesus. Mom: You are nice. I’m so tired. Who is under the bed out there? Who are you? Will you stay here? I love you.

August 28, 2017
Mom: You look beautiful in that. I love you.

September 6, 2017
Mom: There, there, there, that’s alright. You’re good. That’s alright. It’s very good. There you go. I love you! That was good cause you probably need it. You are very dear, dear.

September 7, 2017
Mom: That makes me afraid I don’t remember. I scare you.

November 7, 2017
Mom: You’re a good one my dear. (Mom lifts her hand up), “here, I’m tired”. Do you see it? Me: Yes, I see it. Mom: I’m crying. Me: Why are you crying? (Mom sheds a tear). Mom: I don’t know why I’m crying.

November 22, 2017
Mom: I don’t want to lose you. Are you alright? I didn’t know you did. I’ve been thinking about you.

December 4, 2017
Mom: I want to walk away with you.

December 27, 2017
Mom: I love you. You are wonderful. You are special. You are beautiful. You are very nice.
You are very good my dear. I missed you all the time. Yes, you’re a good one. You’re beautiful my dear. And you look very nice. Hello my dear. You are very good.

January 4, 2018
Mom: I love you all the time. That’s a good one. You’re fine looking my dear.

January 9, 2018
Mom: I love you my dear. If you make it, you should take care of it. I’m glad you fed me. You’re a good one my dear. Me: (I cradled her face). Mom: I like this. I’m not doing very well. I’m foggy. Hello, I don’t know what I need, I’m tired.

January 21, 2018
Mom: Rest of my life… I’m going to.

February 13, 2018
Mom: I love that you are here.

February 20, 2018
Me: (I kissed her). Mom: Thank you, I’m glad you take care of me that I have.

February 27, 2018
Mom: When talking to another person, I want you to love me. You look tired. I don’t want you to be long. I love to have you.

March 12, 2018
Mom: Please pray I can make sense.

Mom passed away March 21, 2018.

Do not hesitate to spend time with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia because you don’t think they don’t remember you or it is uncomfortable to see them suffer. I will never regret putting my uncomfortable feelings aside to spend time with her in her last days. I did not expect these moments. They were the most beautiful and intimate times I had with my mother. Precious, sweet, remembered, and cherished.

Lisa Van Dusen, Wichita