Mondays With Mother: An Alzheimer's Story

In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a hard road, and we live it one day at a time. This is a chronicle of her disease and my Monday visits with her.

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Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
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Thursday, September 15, 2005


Okay, so the picture posting didn't do so well. The system here on blogger for posting pictures has changed since I did it in Scotland, so I've got to wait until I've got some time to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Apologies for that.

I haven't been to The Birches this week and crisis upon crisis at the church conspires against my getting there soon. So now I'm feeling what others feel when you want to be somewhere and just can't get there. How do you not go visit your mother? How do you not have time for that? It's an untenable position. And yet there I am.

And yet, the last time there was a significant gap in visits, she didn't seem to realize it. I am blessed that she still knows who I am, and when I look into her eyes, tell her I love her, and say goodbye, I can see I am getting through. Entire volumes are spoken in a look. The eyes are indeed the window to the soul. Sometimes the shades on those windows are drawn, but not in those moments. It is all crystal clear.

And I find that I am stressed not only about my current schedule and what that might mean for future visits, but also about what to do in winter. Not going for lunch has not been so bad when I can go take her out for ice cream. But going out for anything will be questionable, once the real cold and snow of winter sets in. Maybe we will go back to me reading while she sleeps. I don't know.

I know you'll all write and say that I'm not a lousy daughter, even though I feel like one. But I'll probably feel like one anyway. I think it's part of least for some of us. We know what should happen...but it can't. And so I go to long meetings and I deal with church crises, hearing the sound and fury around me and thinking..."But how do you not go visit your mother?"

Life can get easier any time now.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I did go up to The Birches last Monday for a Labor Day celebration which doubled as a late birthday party for David. I called ahead and asked that they have Mother sign a card that she could give to him, which they gladly did. The family all gathered in the private dining room for lunch and we had a pleasant afternoon. But Mother wasn't all that engaged. She didn't eat much at all and wanted to lie down when we got back to her room.

I promised the other day that I would post some pictures, so here are a few. Some were taken at the time that she went in last November. I took a few others at our Beech Hill outing two weeks ago.

Here's what The Birches looks like from the outside...very nice.