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From daughter to friend

November 29, 2011

By Lucy Lazarony

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 is a freelance writer based in Boynton Beach, Florida.  She blogged earlier this month on “The Best Decision I made as a Caregiver.”

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From daughter to friend by Lucy Lazarony is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.