A Fleeting Glimpse, A Lasting Loss

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A Fleeting Glimpse, A Lasting Loss

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Through the magic of Ancestry.com, last weekend, my 91-year-old mom who has dementia was reunited with her 82-year-old first cousin Sam who she hadn't seen in over 70 years.  My mother's father and Sam's father were brothers. Because of mysterious reasons, they drifted apart and therefore, the cousins lost touch.

Sam is a loving, lively gentleman who has incredible memories of growing up and my mom as a young girl. He remembers her loving to sing and even remembers her very protective Pomeranian dog Lucky. Sitting at the table and reminiscing with Sam brought back a glimpse of my mother who my brothers and I haven't seen in a long, long time. Her face lit up when remembering her old apartment and she even giggled at some of the memories of her early years.

Sadly, this was a quick and fleeting glimpse of the mom I miss. By the next day, when I asked about Sam and the visit, she was totally uninterested and apathetic about connecting with a cousin and a link to her early life.

I guess, as caregivers, we have to grasp onto these precious moments and treasure them. They do not come that often. They can also serve to remind us of what was. For me, it was bittersweet -  seeing my mom happy and animated was lovely, but it also brought up feelings of pain and loss that I work to bury.

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