I love my mom. I loved her before the dementia, and I love her with the dementia.
I am a little ashamed to admit this, but over the past few years, I have been struggling to bond with my mom. In many ways, I feel detached. This is a consequence of the disease; people with FTD lose many emotions and apathy. Relationships often become strained with this disease. I suppose it's not anyone's fault, it just is.
Lately, I find myself thinking about my mom; thinking about the "old" mom. The mom whose bed I used to lay on at night and talk with until my dad kicked me out of the room. ;) The mom who was always there to help me solve a problem or give me advice. The mom who shared in my joys, and my sorrows. The mom who loved to sing and dance while doing chores around the house. The mom who loved to bake, especially around the holidays. The mom who taught me how to be a mom.
I miss my mom. But I am fortunate to have many memories, which I will forever hold dear.
Sometimes, I look at my mom and I think "Who is this person?" The dementia has taken over, and the person she once was is becoming more and more of a distant memory.
Today, I came across a blog written by a daughter about her mother, who is also suffering from a form of FTD (known as PPA-primary progressive aphasia). In her blog, she shared stories written by others about her mom. They were a loving and sweet depiction of who her mother is, who she was before this horrible disease started to take over.
I felt inspired as I read this woman's blog. I write about my mom as she is now, with the disease that has invaded her being. I do this to educate about dementia. I do this to share with family members and friends what is going on with my mom, so that they might gain a better understanding and know what to expect when interacting with my mom. But I don't want my mom to be remembered for the alien being that she has become. I want my mom to be remembered for who she was.
I am beginning a new project on my blog. Every week, I would like to feature a post written by others who knew and loved my mom before the dementia. I would like to pay tribute for the wonderful wife, mother, Aunt, sister and friend that she was. Please contact me if you would like to participate in this project. You can email me a story, memory, thought, or anything remembered about my mom. If you have pictures, they would be a lovely touch; if not, your words will be enough.
I will feature a post every Friday-I'm hoping for a large response to this, so please be patient while you wait for yours to be featured :) For all those who knew my mom, please help me to honor my mom, for the wonderful person that she is.