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Elizabeth's Story
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Elizabeth

My mother Carlotta has Alzheimer's. She is likely in the final stages, but who can really tell. Gratefully, my father made long-term arrangements for him and my mother, so she's in a nice facility with caring people.

As all the rest of you know, this is the hardest thing to deal with. It certainly has been the hardest time in my life thus far. I'm 41, the youngest of five kids, married, and the mother of a beautiful, nearly 3-year-old daughter. It was ironic because when my daughter, who was adopted from China, came into my life, my mother began leaving it. A best friend gained and a best friend lost.

What I have the most difficulty with is making peace within. I'm a faithful person, but I feel out of sorts. I can't really mourn her because she's physically not gone. But I deeply mourn the loss of the woman she used to be. I pray for a cure, but with so few treatments available, it doesn't seem too promising at this time. I'm not saying cancer is any easier on loved ones, but I've often thought that with that illness at least there is hope.

I know this sounds dismal but I'm just having a hard time with it. My mother was a vital woman, so full of life and energy. She lit up a room. That person is gone for the most part. But my sister-in-law told me something that has helped immeasurably: the body may change and fail us, but the soul remains the same. That gave me great comfort.

When I visit, I try to remember the soul that resides within that will never change. It's just as God created it from the beginning.

This is a time for us all to stick together. One quote I read recently helped immensely:

"Those who have never suffered have never been blessed." - Edgar Allen Poe.

So true. If I didn't love my mother unconditionally, this experience wouldn't hurt so deeply. So I am grateful to have loved truly and deeply and to suffer now, than never to have had such an amazing relationship in the first place.


 

Alzheimer's Association

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Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.