You are my daughter?

choccoveredberriesI’ve had the suspicion that my Mom doesn’t know my name anymore. She used to use it and hasn’t done so in over a month. When I arrive, the woman who runs a day program for resident’s with dementia is taking a walk with my Mom.

When my Mom sees me she smiles and I get the typical “Hey, I know you.” I respond, “Hello, Mom” and she quickly replies “You are my daughter?”


I knew this day would come. She is quick to follow me back to her apartment when I tell her I brought her some chocolate covered strawberries.

She spends little time in her apartment now. She will usually tell me she doesn’t know where it is and asks me if I will walk her back to her apartment before I leave. She is always asking what she can do. She craves activity.

Thankfully, the community started a program that runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. that has been keeping my Mom busy. She hasn’t been spending days in bed which is what she used to do before the program kicked off. She doesn’t remember that she’s in the program or what they did that day, but it has made a difference in my Mom. I’m not sure if she’s more accepting because of the disease-state, the medication, or she has enjoyed the benefits from accepting help from those around her.

I know the biggest factor for my Mom is my familiarity with her likes and her routines. While she doesn’t recognize me as her daughter anymore, knowing how to interact with her and avoid trigger points has made all the difference in the calm we enjoy together.

I knew this day would come, but knowing it would arrive doesn’t make it any easier to accept. Bummed. 

Hey, I know you

I’m sure you know the feeling of seeing someone you know but in a place you aren’t expecting. You almost can feel your brain hiccup.

My parents called and confirmed we’d meet at their house at 4:45 p.m. I stop by and realize they probably went to the club instead of coming to their townhouse. I drive to the club and find them sitting in their usual seats by the window to watch the airplanes. As I get closer, I watch as my mom sees me but strains to make sense of the recognition in her brain. She smiles, “Hey, I know you.”

I say hello and ask them if they recall that we were going to meet at the townhouse? Crickets. There is no apology, no recognition. My mom jumps right into asking me to pull up a chair and join them for dinner. I remind them I can’t; I have to pick my son up in a half hour.

I know there might be a day when I see my mom and there will be no recognition of me. As frustrated as I am in having them squander my time, I focus on the positive. Today, she still knows me—not sure she is going to forever. Distracted.