This I Believe

Janice - Kamloops, Canada
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness

My mother doesn’t know who I am.

It came to light the other day after I kissed her good-bye in the car. She turned to my dad and whispered, “Who is that nice lady?”

We had just finished lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. It was nice to escape work for a hot bowl of soup or salad and talk about “old times”. I especially missed my grandparents, and Dad’s stories would sometimes trigger some of my favorite memories of my Grandmother and her Ukrainian cooking or how she butchered the English language with her accent.

My mother would sit quietly and smile.

At one time, Mom and I talked on the phone all the time. We would tell each other how our day went and make a date to go shopping or meet for lunch.

Then one day the phone calls stopped.

That was when I knew something wasn’t right. Shortly after that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease.

She was only 61.

It was the same disease that took my Grandmother’s mind when she was in her eighties, and my Grandfather’s mind when he was in his 90’s.

And it was so unfair.

But at least she was still here….and if she couldn’t remember, I could do the remembering for her.

I believe that memories are a gift to help us through the most difficult times.