11/22: From Daughter to Friend
November 22, 2015
I don’t remember when my mother forgot who I was. But I know she did.
Somewhere along the slowly sloping path of Alzheimer’s disease, she forgot I was her daughter. She forgot what “daughter” meant.
And so I became a friend. A friend that never stopped calling her “Mom.”
It wasn’t always easy to let her go.
Who knows you better than your mom? Who loves you more than your mom? Who do you want to tell things to, more than your mom?
As her friend, I listened.
She was certain her mom needed her help to make dinner. And she needed to go right away to help. She spoke of her parents as if they would walk through the door at any moment. Her love for them was so vibrant and certain and true.
Somehow this disease had flung open a window inside my mother’s heart and she became Tommy and Isabel’s daughter again. And what an unexpected gift that turned out to be.
“Today was a perfect day,” she told me as I picked her up from her day center.
A local artist had visited and with her help, my mother had painted her first painting. She was over the moon. She was an artist at 74.
And she couldn’t wait to show the painting to her father.
“I want to take that painting and take it home to my daddy for his birthday,” she said as I drove her home. “He’ll really like that.”
She was so proud and so happy that day. And I was so happy to be there with her as her friend, Lucy. A friend who never stopped calling her “Mom.”
— Lucy Lazarony, freelance writer and family caregiver for her mother
Note: The present caregiver story was originally published on www.caregiver.org on November 29, 2011.
FCA’s 30 Days of Caregiving blog features stories of caregiving as submitted by families across the country. Family caregivers are invited to send a story and a picture and share their experiences with others through FCA’s website.
FCA thanks all the caregiving families who have shared their stories of love, loss, bravery, triumphs, community, humor, and sadness. These stories and tips for coping truly help others.