Oh, I am rich with tender joys today!
After Mom’s bath (which wasn’t the joyful part) I sat on the love seat with Mom. She cuddled up close to me and smoothed her hand up and down my arm. Then she said, with no prompting, “I love you.”
I was so touched. And then I dared to ask, “Do you know who I am?”
And she answered, “You’re Cheryl.”
I didn’t know if I’d ever hear those words again. But she said, “You’re Cheryl” with no hesitation or pause. And right after she’d said that she loved me! I felt like throwing a party!
Just a few minutes later though, Mom looked at me again and asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Cheryl,” I answered, a bit disappointed that she’d already forgotten.
But then, her face lit up in a bright smile and she asked, “Cheryl Lynn?” And I was sitting in sunshine surrounded by flowers again!
When Dad came home from grocery shopping Mom looked at him and asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Raymon,” he answered. “Who are you?”
Mom started laughing and admitted, “I don’t know!”
Oh, what a strange world Alzheimer’s is. Today Mom doesn’t know her own name, but she knew mine for a few seconds. And she knew that Lynn followed Cheryl and that made her smile! And she told me she loved me within a few seconds of remembering my name!
I’m not sure if people who’ve never had a loved one with Alzheimer’s can totally grasp how precious these glimmers of being known and loved are. You just never know when it might be the last time Mom knows your name or recognize you at all. And any hint that she still does is a cherished mercy from God. A tender moment that you want to shout from the mountain top!!
Today I am rich! Thank you for rejoicing with me!