Alzheimer's Daughter

The Story

Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.

Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.

I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.

I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Memories

...a humbling,  precious Mother's Day memory...
May 2, 2006
            Today a local farmer stops by my husband’s work saying he saw Dad and Mom driving on the interstate yesterday. This is after my sister and I have had many conversations with them about the safety of their driving, and they’ve finally agreed and promised us they’d drive no further than a ten-mile radius. I decide I must talk with them about this incident, so I stop by their house and visit with Mom, making small talk about the nice weather and the spring flowers blooming in the yard. I ask her what they did the day before. Mom replies they drove to the grocery ten miles away. I tell her a community member was concerned because he saw them driving on the interstate about thirty miles away.
Immediately, she grumbles, “Who told you that?” Then she defiantly says the community member was “tattling.” She yells, “We made an important trip to the mall, because I needed to buy face cream. We’re not teenagers who needed to be monitored. We’d rather lay down and die than not drive.”
She shakes her head in disgust. I ask her if she wants me to leave. She fumes, “Yes.”
            About a year later, when I was cleaning out their house, I found a sales receipt from that shopping trip for two small heart necklaces Mom had purchased for my sister and me for Mother’s Day. (Mom always gave us something for Mother’s Day.) I felt sad to think this trip, which had caused an argument, was taken to buy Ann and me something so thoughtful.