we all go through rough patches. here’s one thing that can help us get to the other side.



Mom and I went through a lot of rough patches during our sixty years together.

Our journey as dementia care partners amplified and multiplied them. In August 2014, two years before Mom died, we went through a particularly difficult time. But as Mom pointed out: “all kinds of people have rust patches.” This kind of attitude was typical of my mom; one of the things that inspired me most about her was her sheer determination. Despite the disease, despite the aphasia, despite the confusion and the multiple other challenges she faced, she was full of courage, ferocity and love.

I was also blown away by her practical wisdom and humour. On August 9, 2014, as we struggled through one of the many rough patches in which we invariably found ourselves; we talked about it. Mom was in the later stages of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type at the time. She had a great deal of difficulty articulating her thoughts. But this day, as sometimes happened, there was a break in the Alzheimer’s clouds, an afternoon of clarity.

I recorded our conversation. We agreed that we didn’t know what to do about the rough patches. BUT we also homed in on the core of what’s important when you’re facing a whole bunch of shit you don’t need, you didn’t ask for and that you feel ill-equipped to cope with.

Here’s a clip from that conversation:

Mom and I had this conversation on August 9, 2014. She died on August 17, 2016.

i see you, i love you, i miss you

3 excerpts from the best article on dementia i have ever read (and a link to the full meal deal)

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  1. So glad I had a tissue on hand… I know this video is years old now, but what a difference I am sure it made to you to hear your mom’s love for you, and that she knew you were doing your best. Sending love <3

  2. It is amazing how lucid your mother was during this interaction, I can certainly understand how special this video is for you and to be able to look back on it. Isn’t it fascinating how they can understand on one level and yet there is nothing there in other ways. Mum and John, both very articulate people, lost language quite quickly so my interactions with them are a lot more simple than this. I love seeing how others are able to communicate with their loved one, thanks for sharing this video

  3. Susan thank you so much for sharing a truly personal moment between a mother and a daughter. I was crying right along with you because I understood what this had to have meant to you. I shared this everywhere and pinned it to my Alz board on Pinterest.

    • Thanks Rena. yes, it was a wonderful, intimate moment and completely unexpected. I was so glad that I was filming it. I wanted to share it to show people what is possible even as people with dementia may seem to not be there. Deep wisdom and emotions remain until the very end I think. Thank you so much for sharing widely, I really appreciate it.

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