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Why I Still Save the Notes My Mom With Alzheimer's Wrote

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A while back, I found these notes in the desk at my mom and dad’s house. It looks like my mom wrote them in late 2012, which was just over two years into her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

They are just scribbles, but clearly, my mom was trying to remember our names, birthdays and how old we were. She was also trying to write the date and day of the week on the day she wrote it.

To think that only two years into her diagnosis she had this much trouble writing the date, her daughters’ names and our birthdays.

To picture her sitting home alone while my dad was at work, trying to remember these simple facts and struggling to write them down.

To know that she never let on to having this much trouble, never showing us what she wrote or asking us for help.

It breaks my heart.

I wish I could go back in time and be there for her on the day she wrote these notes.

I wish I would have known how much she was struggling so I could have helped her.

I wish I would have realized she loved me so much that she spent time making notes and trying her hardest to remember my birthday.

And even though these notes break my heart, I’ll never get rid of them because they are still a piece of her.

Her handwriting, her thoughts, her big heart.

Instead of looking at these notes with sadness, I will try to look at them with gratitude.

After all, she wasn’t writing down her own name and birthday.

She was writing down mine.

How lucky I am to have been loved so much.

Originally published: January 19, 2021
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