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I wish I had something helpful to say. I'm so sorry. I cannot imagine what it must be like to see your mom going through this.

HUGE HUGS to you!!


I once had a wise mentor tell me that the best thing to do if you want to have a nice visit with a loved one with Alzheimer's is to talk about their far past. Like, their childhood. Or ask about the first time they ever kissed a boy. Or something like that. That strategy really helped with my grandmother for a while. I got to learn some neat little stories about her, and it gave me something tangible to do when there wasn't much else I really could do.

This was beautifully written. Thanks for being so open about a tough thing.

I totally hear you about this. It's often much harder to be the one watching this happen, than to be the person going through it. My dad, during his Alzheimer's, has been one of the happiest people I know. (The drugs help, of course.) He lives completely in the moment, in a manner that Zen masters work years to attain. He doesn't judge himself or question his circumstances. He simply enjoys everything in the fullest possible way. For instance, once he was playing solitaire (which he'll do for hours on end) but had forgotten to shuffle the card deck between rounds -- and so he was having what seemed to him like the most incredible run of luck, with card after card turning up in perfect sequence as he laid them down one after the other. "Look how lucky I am today!" he told my mom delightedly, showing her his game in progress. "I should go buy a lottery ticket!" My mom was frustrated, wanting to tell him that the only reason his card game was going so well was because he had forgotten to shuffle before playing. But my dad was tickled pink, certain that all was right with the world. It's hard for the rest of us, but we try not to begrudge him his contentment.

Thanks for this one.

I'm so sorry you are going through this challenge with your mom. You are so very brave Sarah.

This post was on Huff Post today and I wanted to share with your readers as I think it raises an issue you've touched on which is a parent's wish for their daughter to marry even when, like you and SCOTUS nominee (!) Elena Kagan, they are wildly successful. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/francine-russo/what-elena-kagans-mother_b_570540.html

I am sorry you are going through this right now. That is the sucky thing about Alzheimer's - the person is still there, but parts of them are missing or receded.
I hope you're doing okay.Big hugs to you and your family.


I wonder if your mom would be up to making it a scrapbook about YOU? Favorite memories from her of you growing up. Blackmail material. Or... what she thinks her future grandchild should know about his/her mother?

i'm courageous enough to say that i'm not sorry that you are going through this. in fact, i think it's something that everyone should have a spot to experience -- because we are not immortal and because the physical human condition always hangs over us.
we do what we can, with what we have. and given that i lived with your mom for two years -- i think it's quite humorous that she still wants to hold onto her newspapers!!!! something that she used to do anyway, way way way before her current condition!
so what, if she doesn't remember why she kept it. so what if you eventually throw it away . . . just let her do what she feels is most important and with that . . . she doesn't completely disappear, but she keeps re-appearing.

judy strong is a wonderful person. judy strong will always be one of the strongest women i met in my time.

I'm going to go ahead and say that I *am* sorry you're going through this. I think there are many challenges in life that are worth overcoming, but when people apply the "Everything happens for a reason" motto to illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer's...well, I can't help but shake my head. I do believe that we can overcome such trials, but I wish some of them didn't exist.

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    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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