Alzheimer's: A Mom's Love

Alzheimer's: A Mom's Love

By Caroline Shaw
My mom at 82 passed away this past Christmas, but... As I think of my mom prior to her illness, (She had not been herself since '85. Strokes and dementia had taken away much of her personality) I think of someone whose total FOCUS was her kids and my mom was a "working mom." She was a cook, then head cook at Ambridge High, but this played a minute role when compared to her kids, my brother and me. We knew, in our every breathing moments, that we were the most important aspect of her life. She centered her world on us. She had many hobbies. She wasn't an unbalanced individual whose kids were the beginning and end. She baked exquisite creations and her baked goods were in high demand in her community. Holidays were a pure delight because she set the mood in our home. She decorated our apartment as if it were a downtown Pittsburgh department store.

She took care of my Dad and his starched shirts, lunches and meals as if he were the president who must make an impeccable impression. She was always looking for ways to bring in extra cash. She sold cards, nut rolls and candy and many other things. She had a true entrepreneurial spirit. Nonetheless, we knew that her family was the CENTER of her life. She was self-sacrificing. My brother went away to a prep school and I was placed in private schools. Paid out of the income of a head cook and meat cutter (dad). Mom wore the same dress all through my brother's schooling. We didn't even notice. She told us years later... probably after Alzheimer's set in.

As I think of the example my mom displayed in her mothering, her parenting I wonder: will my children be able to say the same about me? Will your children, when you are eighty-one and in a nursing home or hospital be able to praise you? Eighty-one seems far away, but at least that span allows us time to contemplate and time to change... "Those who believe we go from this world to another say that this love is all we take. Either way, it forms the foundation of a home, as solid as stone and as deep as memory." from Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran.

Alzheimers Resources

Here are some Alzheimers resources:

About Alzheimer: Info and caregiver tips

Alzheimer Disease Information

Alzheimer Association: Lots of information. Penpal type of support

American Journal of Alzheimers: A place to do a little research

And For the Caregiver:

Kate's Place: Dynamic Help

The National Family of Caregivers

Support for Caregivers

© 2000 Caroline Shaw About the Author

Caroline Shaw is a mom of six, she lives with her husband, Bernie, three children, (still at home) two kitties and a collie near Pittsburgh. A graduate of Duquesne Univ. in Pittsburgh, she is publisher and editor of an online magazine, A Moms Love, written for and by Moms.

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