Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Circle of Life

Yesterday I had lunch with another Alzheimer caregiver-- a luncheon date set up by my dear neighbor and friend Anne whose own mother died with Alzheimer's disease.  Anne thought perhaps I might benefit from Linda's story. 

A few days before we met, Linda's mother-in-law actually died from the disease, but she still wanted to meet me.  While at lunch I learned  that Linda's own mother also died of the disease along with 3 of Linda's aunts.  Linda's husband's family also has a long history of dementia.  She says she has always been the "One" as Bob Demarco (Alzheimer Reading Room) refers to the caregiver. Linda is still not done as she will be flying out east shortly to check in on her aging aunt & uncle who also have the disease.   She commented how it always seemed to be one member of a family who steps up to this role.  I also have found that to be the case.

Looking into her eyes I could see the soul of a person who understands exactly what I am living each and every day.  With Anne I receive the same level of comfort as she too understands.  As we were sitting there another friend Jenny who just lost her mother in the last month to Alzheimers walked in.  So there we were the four of us all of which whose mothers had this terrible disease with my mother Lily the only one left still alive.  I have many many wonderful friends but the knowing concerned looks in these fellow caregivers eyes reach through to my soul and fill me up at times so desperately needed.

Linda told me a story regarding her mother which I would love to share.   Linda's mother worked in a school cafeteria and took it on herself to be sure no child ever went hungry.  At lunchtime she watched out for them and apparently she touched many a child's heart.  Many years later when Linda had to place her mother in a nursing facility after years of caregiving she discovered that one of her mother's nursing aides had been one of these children.  This caregiver told Linda how her mother watched over her and how she would do and did watch over her mother lovingly till the end.

The circle of life.  We like to think what goes around comes around and in this particular case that certainly proved true.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful memory for Linda and how kind of the person to share with Linda! I so wish to have a local person to befriend and offer support to each other. You are most fortunate. I think I will make that a matter of prayer!