Our journey through Alzheimer’s disease began eleven years ago. Our family knew nothing about this disease. A new path for Mom was ahead of her and ahead of us.
Everyone loved Mom. She was friendly, outgoing, easy to get along with, and she loved to laugh. There were times we all tried to figure out what was so funny because she was laughing so hard she couldn’t speak. She could make anyone feel good about themselves, even on a bad day. That was her gift. We were always close as I was growing up, and even in my sometimes annoying and moody teen years, we were friends. I was so proud of my Mom.
On February 13, 2005, Dad died very, very suddenly. Earlier that day, Mom and Dad had enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach. They had gone to Ruby’s for hamburgers, and then had a walk around the back bay. Shortly after getting home, Dad had a heart attack. He was four days from retiring as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Life went upside down for Mom and for us. While planning Dad’s funeral service, she couldn’t keep the details straight. We all thought she just couldn’t think straight because she was in shock. Then, at the service and reception, Mom was trying so hard to thank everyone for coming. People she knew for years and years would come up to her and she would say, “I know I should know your name.” One of those guests was my mother-in-law.
What the heck?
My husband, brothers and I would talk and we would ask each other if grieving could cause memory loss. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Certainly, that was it. She was grieving.
It wasn’t grief. It wasn’t part of the grieving process. What was going on? Something wasn’t right with Mom.
There is a very informative video made by Teepa Snow called, “Ten Early Signs of Dementia.” It is located at the Resources/Videos page on my website, or you can watch it here.