by Dalton Diaz
I have to admit, this Mother’s Day was one the best I’ve had in a long time. Not only did Stud let me sleep in, he woke me with coffee and the Sunday paper. Three of my four sons were home, one of them for the first Mother’s Day in probably thirteen years. All four sons and Stud pooled together and bought me my first ever Chef’s knife, which cut a watermelon like butter! We had a later afternoon gathering here with extended family and kept it simple, and it was lovely.
All of the above was wonderful, but the biggest gift of all is that about 2 weeks ago, my mom clearly recognized me. For those who don’t know me, my mother has end stage Alzheimers. Her recovery from the last bout of aspiration pneumonia was a miracle in itself, and she didn’t know who I was prior to that. I go to see her three times a week, and for at least six months if not a year, there’s been a 50/50 chance she’ll have any reaction whatsoever when I walk in the door.
Then, out of the blue, I walked in the door and she looked up with a HUGE smile and said my name. Ever since then, including when we all went on Mother’s Day, she has been happy, smiling, and communicative (as best she can). She knows my name, and that I’m her daughter. On Mother’s Day, she looked at Stud and got tears in her eyes and told him that she misses him (he goes every week). She told the boys that she loves them, though I don’t think she really knew who they were.
I know this won’t last. Heck, I didn’t expect it to last this long. Whatever it was that stopped firing up in her brain that caused her to lose that information has found some way to connect. The disease will stop it. The disease will win. I know these things, and I know how important it is for me to know and accept those two facts. I also know that I have been given a gift that is the best thing money can’t buy, and I’m going to savor it while it lasts.