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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Name Calling - Precious Memories 20

You can't lose me
Bet your life

I am here and I will always be
Just a wish away
Wherever you go
No matter how far
My love is where you are
You won't be lost if you believe
You can't lose me

Momma use to say "Girl it won't be long
'Til it's time to go out on your own
Chase your dreams find your place in life
I know you'll do just fine"
When that day finally came
There were things she needed to 
But could not say
So I whispered softly as I wiped
The tears from Momma's eyes      
You Can’t Lose Me – Faith Hill

*Real names have been changed

I was crushed when she didn’t remember me.

I was in denial for the longest time, thinking it wouldn’t happen to me. The staff had gently tried to prepare me, but I brushed it off, thinking our bond was too strong for that. Science after all has proven it.

Based on a study from The Journal of Neuroscience, the relationship between daughters and their mothers is more profound than any other. "This association was significantly greater than mother-son, father-daughter, and father-son associations," said the researchers, who performed MRI scans on members of 35 healthy families.

Scientists found that women share a structure of the brain that regulates emotions, meaning mothers and daughters are more likely to relate to and understand one another's feelings than anyone else's.

Mom and I?   We had that.

I know everyone doesn’t experience this, though I wish they could. It always broke my heart a little, when facility staff would stop me in the hall and say, “I wish my mom and I were close like you two.”

Though our hearts were knit together, Alzheimer’s snuck in and unraveled the connections in her mind.  The first day I walked in, and realized she had no idea who I was, it felt like a deep searing knife driven straight through my middle.

I just stopped in my tracks. 

How can you forget your babies?  It was something I could not process.

The first time it happened, I walked in and said, “Hi Mom!”   She turned around and yelled loudly at me, “I’m Mabel!”   

Taken aback, it was then I realized, I had offended her by saying “Mom”

In her mind, she wasn’t a mom.  

She was Mabel.      And I was a complete stranger.

I crouched down in front of her wheelchair and gently said, “Hi Mabel.  I’m Stacy.  Nice to meet you.”  

I stared deeply into her eyes, willing her to remember.  She looked at me as if she had never seen me, a little puzzled, a bit hesitant. Clearly offended that I would be so dense, to not know her name.  It took her a bit to warm up to me.

I was dying inside.

I could not believe it.  We were here.  

We were right here, though I had hoped and prayed this part wouldn’t happen.  So now I had to navigate interactions with someone who looked and sounded like my mom, but I couldn’t just walk up and hug her or touch her. 

I cannot put into words a pain so deep.  The cord was being severed between us.

I didn’t want to scare her, so I began introducing myself to her from this visit onward.   It was awful.  I cried all the way home, every single time. 

I was losing her little by little, though physically she was with me.  I had never felt so alone.  I missed my mom so very much.

Growing up, I knew I was in trouble when all three of my names were called out….  “Stacy Renee Burgess, get in here!”  

If all three names were called in succession, there was usually a good chance that I was about to get scolded. 

What I wouldn’t have given just then to be in trouble one more time, so I could hear her call out my name.

  *The Precious Memories posts you read here, are dedicated to my mother who battled Alzheimer's. I share snippets of our story, and some things I learned along the way.  

You can start reading our story from the beginning here:
Precious Memories 1 

You can read my last Precious Memories post here:
Remember - Precious Memories 19

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