You May Have Had a Conversation Like This If You Love Someone With Alzheimer's
People living with Alzheimer’s disease may not always remember their loved ones’ names, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t feel the love you share. If you’ve come to this realization about your own friend or family member with Alzheimer’s, you may relate to one woman’s sweet moment with her grandmother.
In a now-viral tweet posted Jan. 18, Lauren Eaton described a conversation she had with her grandmother, Gloria, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four years ago. She told her grandmother it was nice seeing her, to which her grandmother replied, “It was nice remembering you.” Eaton was confused for a moment since her grandmother usually doesn’t seem to know who she is.
But then Gloria clarified, “I don’t remember your name, but I remember that I love you.”
Having a conversation with my grandma with Alzheimer’s:
Me: “it was nice seeing you”
Grandma: “it was nice remembering you”
Me: “you remember me??”
Grandma: “I don’t remember your name, but I remember that I love you”
— loly (@itsmeloly_) January 18, 2019
Eaton went on to share a video and photos of herself and her grandmother and sharing how special the moment was, considering the challenges she has remembering her family members and details of her life.
This past Christmas, my cousin took a video of me talking to my grandma. I didn’t know she was taking it, and I don’t remember what we were even talking about, but it’s moments like these that mean the most. pic.twitter.com/unLbRy2xWg
— loly (@itsmeloly_) January 19, 2019
Thank you everyone for sharing your support, stories and struggles. I felt alone in this disease before I wrote this tweet, and literally a community has formed overnight. Let’s keep connecting w each other ???? pic.twitter.com/IlRcn8mrpj
— loly (@itsmeloly_) January 21, 2019
U dnt have to understand what it’s like to have someone you’ve loved your whole life forget who they are, let alone who u are. Usually, my grandma thinks I’m the hired help or the maid. She thinks she has to get ready to go to work or she has papers to grade bc she was a teacher
— loly (@itsmeloly_) January 19, 2019
Eaton told The Mighty that when her grandma, who she calls Mahma, told her she remembered her, she almost started crying on the spot.
“For her to have a glimpse of this moment of clarity meant everything to me,” Eaton said.
In the many responses to Eaton’s tweet, people shared how they had similar experiences with their own relatives.
My grandfather passed in November, he had dementia. He wouldn’t remember who I was but he always remembered I was someone close to him and he would always say “I remember that smile”. I’m known to be the one that’s always smiling in my fam. ????
— roy ???????????? (@royxsouves) January 19, 2019
Before 2y I asked my granpa : what is my name?
He said : I don’t remember, But I know you are my flower.
IN THE PAST, he was always calling me “FLOWER”
— فاطِمه’ (@Fattimah_D) January 19, 2019
Hang in there. One of the best and most heartbreaking compliments I ever got was my grandmother leaning over and saying to someone about me “I dont know who she is, but I really like her”
— Erica (@EricaCooper) January 20, 2019
These moments are so special with our loved ones who have Alzheimer’s/dementia. I can see it in my grandma sometimes, the way she smiles when she sees me walking in to their apartment. She knows I’m someone she loves ????
— Milena Salazar (@milennna__) January 19, 2019
When I visited my Grandma with Alzheimers she would tell me she doesn’t remember who I am but knows that I make her happy…gotta love Grandmas ❤
— Deb (@DebFOPA) January 19, 2019
Eaton said she thought the moment she had with her grandmother was a great reminder for families struggling with Alzheimer’s of what one can remember, even when the details are gone.
“Our loved ones hold onto how you make them feel and how they feel about you. This moment meant more than her remembering my name or how I’m related to her,” she said. “It meant that she remembered our relationship, and that’s something that I will always treasure.”