A newer resident at the assisted living memory care home where I work said something today which reminded me of a sweet memory of my mom. I’ll call the sweet lady ‘Lillian’, so as to shield her true identity. As I walked in the building Lillian’s face visibly brightened. With wide-eyed amazement, she greeted me and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re here, Grandma!” As I got a little closer to her, with a deflated note of disappointment in her voice, Lillian murmured, “Oh, you’re not my grandma, are you?” To which I replied, “No, I’m your new friend Cindie and I just have one of those familiar faces that reminds people of someone else.” Lillian pondered my face for a few seconds and then said, “Yes, your face is kind. Just like my grandma’s.”
Oh, my. That warmed my heart. I spent a few more minutes chatting with my new friend Lillian, then went about my work, with memories of my own sweet momma on my mind. In the later years of Mom’s life with Alzheimer’s, in her mind, I was rarely her daughter. Sometimes I got to be her sister, her mother, or her friend. I’d like to share one of those memories with you . . .
Lately, my sweet mother has been more than a bit confused about her living accommodations, referring to our home as “this facility” and “this place.” Not long ago, she swept her hand out in gesture as if encompassing her living space and said, “Are you the one in charge of this place?” I told her yes it was our home and that Wayne and I both welcome her to live here. “Oh,” she replied, “are my meals and laundry included?” I assured her that they were. To which she replied, “Well, they haven’t fed me all day, and I think they’re stealing my laundry. I can’t find it anywhere.”
Not long ago, she was telling Wayne that “someone who works here” had given her some pills. She wasn’t sure who it was, but figured they knew what they were doing, so she took them. It was Tylenol, and it was…
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