What If She Doesn't Remember Me


What If She Doesn't Remember Me


My mom has Alzheimer’s. Words you never want to hear. Something you never want your loved one to go through. It has been a year since we had the "official" diagnosis and we have settled into a nice routine with mom living with my husband and I. Each day can bring challenges, and together, we work through them the best we can that day. Each day I reach out to the friends on caregiving.com and share my thoughts and daily happenings and listen and care. And so, it gets comfortable not thinking about the progression of the disease.

And then, there is that day when it happens. Mom couldn’t remember who a family member was or how she was connected. And, it wasn’t one of those distant cousins you only see once every family reunion or so. It stopped me in my tracks. The ugly disease just slapped me in the face and reminded me of it’s reality. Mom was able to talk through it while I stood there reeling from the moment and she made connections with my prompting. But, the moment shook me. What would happen when/if the day came when she didn’t remember me?

My head could rationalize it, but my heart was not able to deal with it at all. Fortunately, the next day was the all day caregiving consult for good event in the chat room and I hopped on to say “hi”. Okay, I hopped on because I needed to talk. During the conversation, I shared with Lillie and Denise the events of the day prior and my heartache over the “what if she doesn’t remember me “prospect. I asked a clinical type question, but they knew what I was really asking was the heart question.

I honestly don’t remember the whole course of the conversation, but what I remember was their affirmation of what is important. There may come a day when my mom doesn’t remember my name or who I am or confuses me with another, but she will never forget I love her. She will always remember and know the love.

Those words were such a relief. And so today, we sat outside and worked in the garden and talked about gardens before. We talked about the hummingbirds in the yard. We talked about Dad. We made buttermilk biscuits. We hugged, we laughed, we talked and we loved. We will both always remember the love.

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I remember the exact day. The moment, sitting with my dad for lunch at the nursing home, when I knew he did not know who I was. My heart broke. The staff was so wonderful. One nurse put her arm around me and walked me slowly down the hall. She told me his love will always be with me, how he will always \"know\" I am there. She was right of course, he would smile impishly and tell me a story, talk about fixing things that needed to be fixed, stories I never heard about his childhood emerged. He may not have recognized me, but we still shared our love, just in a different way. It is that caring, loving time that I remember so strongly during the long decline of dementia. More memories of love on top of the ones from the years before. It comes, but your heart still breaks first.


Thanks for sharing about this Cathy.\r\nI be believe no matter how much confusion may exist, the love you've shared with your mom lives deep within her ....your loving presence, is what she knows and responds to ...it calms, comforts, & reassures her (whether she recognizes you or not).

Lillie Fuller

you will both always remember the love. Cathy, this picture of your mom is so powerful to me. When you text me yesterday I connected to that picture. it's a prize winner. frame it please.