A Letter to Charlie

Dear Charlie, It’s hard, isn’t it? I saw you wipe away the tears today and it broke my heart. I wanted to get up from my chair and give you a hug…but I barely know you. Instead, I remained silent and still. Your wife, Margie, has aphasia and it must be so difficult when you don’t understand her. She has attempted to “talk” to me several times, usually with a smile, and I simply nod and smile back. I haveRead more

#WATWB: Fox Valley Memory Project

Fox Valley Memory Project As many of my readers know, my 97-year old mom has dementia and lives in assisted living. We have had quite the journey together with the various stages of dementia – watching the decline, keeping mom from being anxious and trying to have peaceful conversations. It is no wonder, then, that my heart lit up like a Christmas tree when I found out about the Fox Valley Memory Project in Appleton and surrounding communities. “The FoxRead more

She Wants to Go Home

I tell mom she’s 96 years old, but age is not registering in her mind. “I can’t be that old!” “Yes, mom,” I say to her gently, “You are 96.” She shakes her head in disbelief and responds with, “No, I’m not!” I ask mom how old she believes she is and the response, “In my seventies.” An aide attempts to confirm her age, but mom resists, and I eventually have to change the subject. This is how the conversations haveRead more

Let it Be

Mom speaks words of wisdom and she doesn’t know it. It’s wisdom for her daughter. To let it be. I’ve been reticent to write about mom for several weeks. Her dementia has been in a darker place of late, filled with anxiety and worry and sadness. It was only this past Thursday, when I paid a special visit to the woman who still clutches the ratty black sweater, that she seemed in a better place. Mom appeared more alert thanRead more