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Alzheimer’s Took a Lot From Us, but It Also Gave Us a Lot

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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 brutal 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.

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Originally published: October 4, 2020
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