Some days when visiting with my mom, my gaze catches her in a moment that brings back a memory of how she used to be. It feels like she's had AD so long that I can't always remember the old days.
Mostly now, I remember the onset and how I'd laugh things off, make excuses or get really angry with her. I remember picking her up for a noon time christening and she came to the door in a ballgown of sea foam green chiffon, rhinestones in her ears and drawn on green eyebrows. I decided that day to just go with it and so we did. A few eyebrows were raised upon her entrance, but in every other way that day, she was herself.
I didn't recognize the Alzheimer's when it first showed up. I regret the anger and harsh words.
She loved to laugh and loved a good joke. We traveled with friends a great deal while growing up and she would be the first up and last to bed. I was her partner in crime, staying up with her and visiting with friends to the wee hours, while my father snored peacefully back in the hotel room.
I catch glimpses of her from time to time. I try to no avail, to jog her memory about me. I worry that she will remember me on a day when I do not visit. I worry that she will feel lonely and abandoned. I imagine that I will be by her side when she dies, but know that circumstances don't always cooperate with the best laid plans. My luck, she will die the minute I step out to pee. My mother has always done things her way and on her own terms. I'm sure her death will be no different
I believe she's in there somewhere. I wait for the glimpses...I am very patient these days.