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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Saturday, June 14, 2008

No Win

I am an evil child. All of our family has birthdays in either April or May, and Mother's 76th birthday was May 26. The date fell on Memorial Day this year, so I had the day off. But I didn't go to see her. I didn't get a card in the mail. I felt wretched.

Oh, I had my excuses. I was exhausted. I was completely stressed out by my next book deadline and my complete lack of progress in writing compared to the relentless march of the days. I knew she didn't know her birthday from Christmas--or at least I think she doesn't. Who knows, really? I had the financial concerns of multiple trips that far away with gas prices ever higher. I had been on Mother's Day and was expecting a call from David any time to help with a move to Pine Rock. I had to be out of town presenting at a conference the next weekend...this was a rare time to be home and write. David would visit on her birthday, she wouldn't be alone. Traffic on Memorial Day would be bad coming and going.

Visits are hard. Because of the distance, just an hour's visit takes all day, costs an ever increasing amount of gas money, and affects me emotionally the day before, the day of, and the day after. But it really didn't matter. In not going, the only thing I saved was the money. I stressed the whole weekend about whether I would go or not, and then beat myself up for days afterwards for being a wretch of a child who wouldn't visit her mother on her birthday. No writing of substance happened.

A lose-lose scenario. One would hope I would learn, but chances are I won't.


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