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.

My Photo
Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Visit My Website

Memory Lane Webring

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I wasn't planning to visit. The weekend was very busy with every day already including four or five hours of driving. It would have been my only day at home. But in my bedroom is a picture of Mother from her college days. Her bright, beautiful face smiles down on me from atop my dresser. Here she is in 1954.

She called to me from that picture. Not in a way I could audibly hear, of course, but in a very real way nonetheless. She called for me to visit. And it kept coming in wave after wave.

So, I decided I would take the only day I would have been home and add four hours of driving to make the trip. But first I called my brother, Rob. He and his wife have moved to Vermont and are now a bit over three hours away from me. But he's still only about an hour away from Mother. So we planned to meet at The Birches.

We did. Mother was finishing up lunch when we arrived, and Rob helped her eat the pecan pie that was sitting untouched in front of her. She didn't really show any recognition of us or say anything. We decided it was an off day for her.

As she fussed with her glasses which slide down her nose, we wondered together how a doctor would be able to determine if she still had the right prescription for her glasses. Certainly she couldn't make any of the verbal responses needed for an eye test.

As she finished, the aide came to take her for toileting and Rob and I went back with her to her room. All I can say of the rest of the visit is that she was present. Rob and I had a great visit with each other as she napped.

So I went home wondering about the calling from the picture. Was it just my own guilt speaking because it had been a few weeks since my last visit? Did she reach out in some way when her mind was more alert and by the time I arrived she had retreated into the fog? Did she know more of our visit than she showed? Perhaps her own calling as a mother made her aware that Rob and I were more separated by distance and she wanted to bring her children back together.

I can't say, and probably it doesn't matter. I felt her calling and I went and the inscrutable purposes of the call were somehow fulfilled. Or maybe I just need a good therapist!


Blogger Gail Rae said...

No, you don't need a good therapist, Anne! Although my mother and I continue to live together and she has not yet become so entrenched in dementia that overt, familiar contact is impossible, I regularly hear her calling to me from a part of her other than her present, in-the-world self; especially after she has retired for the night. Because of these experiences, I am convinced that, even in our most diverted states, no matter what the cause of the diversion, our spiritual dimension remains free of diversion and continues to work on contacting the spirits of those with whom we are intimate.
I would say, trust your instincts on the whys and wherefores of each "call" you experience. I think they were right, this time, and will remain reliable in the future.

By the way, Mom and I have much enjoyed your books. "God's Top Ten" was a real treat! It took us a long time to get through it because my mother was keen to discuss just about every paragraph! Your experiences with your non-Christian friend, by the way, ring many delightful bells for me. I have been such a friend to a few other dear, Christian people.

Just to identify myself, I'm the writer of "The Mom & Me Journals", which, in mid-January, had to be moved to another site. It is now temporarily housed at blogspot. The url is:

1:27 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

I, too, have a mother suffering from Alzheimer's. I think that Anne has given so much back to the community. I think it's possible her readers who have been comforted in Anne's readings, and others, would agree that Anne's mother needs to stay where she's at. Her funds are limited. There's a way if, collectively, her bloggers, readers, and others, if the word is spread, can spare a few dollars and keep Anne's mother where she is, safe, sound, comfortable.

Please, think about this. Anne has a unique talent and she has touched so many lives. I say it's time to reach into your heart and your pocket and maybe we can make the kind of impact that Anne has unselfishly shared with us through prayer.

6:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home