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Tag Archives: love

“Suzette” — I’ve finished Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes. What a great service you have provided to caregivers, with this book. If you want a reviewer blurb, I offer this one:

As Suzette Brown notes in Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes, ‘love doesn’t conquer all.’ As the book documents in diary-level detail, there are frustrations love cannot conquer when a caregiver is helping a loved one with the vicious and unrelenting disease of Alzheimer’s. Nevertheless, it was love that kept Suzette going, past exhaustion, past the repeated phone calls in which her mother asked the same questions and expressed the same demands repeatedly, past the second-guessing by well-meaning but clueless friends and relatives, past the shoddy ethics of some medical professionals who became involved. If you are a caregiver for someone whose mind is slowly eroding, Suzette’s  meticulous recounting of her own experience, including a great many “I wish I had known then what I know now” asides, will guide you on your way.

— William R. Henry, Jr., coauthor, The Crown of Life Society

Days like today…

Today is glorious ! It is beautiful ! We have warm weather, sunshine, and a brilliant blue sky here in Hampton, Virginia. I took my two dogs for a nice long walk, which they sorely needed. I can’t complain about our weather – it is unpredictable here on the east coast, and us Virginians are used to it.

It does, however, bring back vivid memories of walks in the park with my Mother as soon as the weather grew warm !! By this point, she was a resident in an assisted living facility. My dad, her husband had now been gone for a few years. He passed away in 1999.

Mom needed to get out of her room at the AL facility and as often as I could I would pick her up and we would go for a walk. Many times, I would bring her to my home, out to eat, to visit friends, or just a drive through her old neighborhood.

She enjoyed these times so much, as did I. When I realized she didn’t have any decent walking shoes, I purchased her a supportive pair, which included Velcro straps making it so much easier for her to put on and take off her shoes.

I would pick her up at the assisted living facility and she would have a huge smile on her face. I would ask her, are you ready for a nice walk? This also included, but of course, a blueberry muffin or donut and a cup of coffee on the way home.

Our German Shepherd was still fairly young and would accompany us. He was big enough to ensure that Mom could steady herself if needed, putting her hand on his strong back. He seemed to know that Mom needed his help so he stayed close to her side. What an amazing dog he was, he was so tuned in to Mom, that he would ensure his step would align with hers, never leaving her side.

It makes me smile as I remember his attentiveness. With a spring in our steps, we would start walking. Sometimes, we would talk. Many times our walks were silent. We just enjoyed each other’s company. Many times, she would mention how much she missed her husband, my dad, who passed in 1999. By now, her disease was taking her memory which was slipping further away each day. Her memories of her husband were fleeting – but somewhere in the deep recesses of her mind, she managed to remember her husband of 44 years.

These were such good days. Mom was the trooper and forged ahead with determination! It was calming to me as well – as we both enjoyed the freedom of a beautiful park. I would ask her about her friends at the assisted living facility, what kind of food they ate, did she play BINGO, did she have visitors to her room ??

The younger years of my life always flooded back to me with fierce passion. What a wonderful childhood I had, I was so grateful that this was my Mother.

And so, we continued our walk.

This is my Mother. I loved her so. Those were great days. Today would have been perfect for a Mom/daughter walk.