Before my mom had Alzheimer’s, I never had to help her get dressed.
I never had to help her use the bathroom.
I never had to cut up her food for her so she could eat it.
I never had to hold her hand when walking through a crowded room or down the street.
I never had to remind her of who I was.
I never had to grieve for her while she was still alive.
But before my mom had Alzheimer’s, I also never took her shopping for new clothes.
I never just sat and listened to music with her.
I never sang a song with her.
I never read a book to her.
I never took a walk with her just to take a walk with her.
I never took that many pictures with her.
I never brushed her hair.
I never massaged her hands with lotion.
I never even held her hand.
Alzheimer’s took so much from us, but truthfully, it gave us a lot, too.
A brutally horrific disease, of course. A terribly difficult journey, for sure.
But we wouldn’t have been the mother and daughter we became without it.
And I sure as hell wouldn’t be the woman I am today without it.
Grief and gratitude can go hand in hand.
That’s the beauty of the human heart.