The Early Face of Fall

As I gaze upon the early face of fall and watch the season progress toward winter, I’m reminded of my mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s. The early stages of this disease are now progressing into something more serious for her, but she’s entirely unaware.

My grandmother had Alzheimer’s so I’m no stranger to this disease that slowly steals the mind.
Slowly the person you love and know so well begins to disappear.
They no longer recognize you, and you don’t recognize them either.
But you still love them, and you still have your memories.
And so when I talk to my mother now, we talk about things in the far past.
Things she can still remember … like our old dog, or a funny story from a Christmas past.
At first her Alzheimer’s made me feel despair, sadness, and even loneliness.
My mother who knew me inside and out, now looks at me with fading knowledge of who I am.
But now, I see her Alzheimer’s as a sort of blessing in disguise.
She has no concern or fear of finances, health, and the worries of the world.
My mother has a certain innocence and child-eyed wonder about her now.
Although her memory is fading, her beauty still remains.
So while I still have her, I will enjoy every smile and coherent sentence that she utters.

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  1. Oh, Jennifer, I am on the same bittersweet journey as you… My Mom has dementia and its heartbreaking, but as long as she can still laugh and eat doughnuts, it’s bearable. I wrote a post about her, too, in July, if you have a chance to read it. I really think they would be proud of us…. Take care.

  2. You have such a wonderful attitude about this disease, your mother is very lucky to have you. My sister is taking care of her MIL and she is taking a class on how to handle the disease…she was telling me last night that it has really helped her and her husband.


  3. Wow – talking about choosing to see the glass half full. What an awesome attitude for you to have. I pray that the memories that you continue to make with your mom will be all-the-more precious because of your positive attitude. God bless you and your family!

  4. Prayers for you and your mom are going your ways. I’m sorry to hear this, I am stil sad over Dolores’s husband David’s passing, he had Alzheimers, such a stealer of the mind and yes, it’s so sad for the family, SINCE THE ILL do live in a happy world, where ugly things are not remembered..or good ones either. You are such a strong girl and may God give you lots and lots of strength to endure this illness with your dear mother.

  5. Ok, you’ve got me all teared up. I miss my mom so much and sometimes I’d give anything for just one more day, no matter her state of mind. I wish I’d had even half the wonderful outlook that you have. I could have enjoyed the time so much more. You are so blessed to have reached this beautiful acceptance. God bless you and mom and your family as you enjoy this time together! What a touching post!!


  6. Aaah – Jennifer, I am so sorry. I get so fearful of what lies ahead as far as our parents health, and mine too. My parents and in laws are healthy today so I cherish that. Thank you for this post, reminds me to be grateful today.

  7. Oh Jennifer, I’m so sorry you and your family are having to go through all this. My heart breaks for you! Just last month, we buried my best friend’s mother who also battled that ruthless disease. Lifting you, your mom and your entire family up in prayer! Shelly

  8. Your mother is so lucky to have you as a daughter. She can be nothing less than proud of you. You will never lose her. We never truly lose the people we love. And we never lose love of our mothers. The mind is treacherous so often, but love makes sense in this crazy world. Wish you and your mum all the best.

  9. We are going through this with my father in law right now. He is at the confused but still wanting to be independent stage. He still tries to drive but is taking the round about way everywhere he goes. We are just trying to figure out how to help him but still allow him to have dignity. It is a very unfair disease!

  10. I hope soon I can feel this…the joy of her not having worries. Right now all I can say is I’m sad. Not usied to seeing grandma like this. I’m used to seeing her as a happy sweet little grandma. I will always love her no matter what

  11. Jennifer
    How absolutely beautiful! I am going to share with Mrs. Daniher as her husband has dementia and she does not have the ‘glass half full’ look on life…..maybe this will help her. Thank you for sharing your experience. Love, Karen

  12. Jennifer, I am sending you a great big hug. My dad has dementia and it is heart wrenching to watch. We were so lucky in that his dementia, caused from his cancer treatments, only appeared in the last year. He battled esophageal cancer when he was 93 (he is 95) and beat it. We were blessed with so many wonderful years. You are in my heart.

  13. Hi,
    I am going through the same thing, some things she good on and others… just gone. I had her over last weekend and on Monday she said she should come over some weekend, she didn’t even remember she had been over, soooooo sad. I have been without a computer for a week and am glad to be back and catching up with my favorite blogs! I hope you enjoy your weekend!

  14. God bless her and you. I have gone through this with my mother and mother-in-law too. It’s a terrible disease but as you say, she doesn’t know and is content. Just one of the blessings of the disease. Your photos are beautiful! Hugs, Pamela

  15. How sad for you, but you have a beautiful way of dealing with the Alzheimer’s. I understand what you are experiencing. My grandmother, whom I loved more than anyone else on earth, died a few years back after having Alzheimer’s for about six or eight years. I currently live with and care for a lady who has Alzheimer’s but no family left to care for her. I will pray for you to continue as optimistically as youhave so far. May God bless you both.

  16. So sorry about your mum but it’s nice to have a positive outlook on it. Cherish those smiles
    Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Melissah from Country Style chic

  17. I am so sorry to hear that you’re having to see your mother slip away like that. I don’t have experience with anyone I know having that awful disease, but have heard it is very devistating. I’ve often thought the very same thing as you, though, that if you were to see the positive come out of it, it is that the person suffering with it doesn’t really know they have anything wrong. My mom is a worrier and my MIL is too. Whenever they have something wrong with their health, it is a BIG upsetting thing! Your mom is at peace and for that, that is a good thing.

  18. I am sorry to hear of you going through this with your mom. It is so hard.
    I am going through the same thing. Mom still knows us right now but, the meds she takes makes her slow in moving and thinking. She to has only started remembering the past more than what happened yesterday.
    Your words written here are so true. I will read them again and pass along to my sisters.
    Mom worried so much when she knew more and now not so much, like you said a blessing in disguise – I am feeling that way now also. Many Blessings

  19. thats so sad…but the way you write about it, let me feel, that you are a strong woman, with a big big heart, and it`s wonderful that you talk about the thinks that pasts (?) for a long time… ♥ many many blessings for you and your mom♥♥, a wonderful weekend from a rainy Germany, Biene♥

  20. Wow! This is my story too, Jennifer. Yes, the confusion was hard on all of us, mom included, but we could always laugh and she would always smile! Good luck to you all!
    And, this was posted on what would have been my parents 62 anniversary.

  21. Wow! This is my story too, Jennifer. Yes, the confusion was hard on all of us, mom included, but we could always laugh and she would always smile! Good luck to you all!
    And, this was posted on what would have been my parents 62 anniversary.

  22. I really needed to read this today. You see my daughter got married yesterday and today I have been grieving that along with my dad who died in July, my mom couldn’t be there because of her advancing Alzheimer’s. She barely showed any interest when in the past, she would have been so involved and helping in so many ways. I needed this reminder to focus on the things that still bring my mom joy – even if we can’t share what is important to me. I need to remember it’s about her moments of joy!

    God bless you and your mom!

  23. So sorry…:(
    Yet your post is so beautiful it is poetry

    My grandma slipped away in her mind too though they did not diagnose Alzheimers…there were so many things going on with her body at the time as well

    Watching them go that way is like seeing a withering of the leaf / I’ve often thought that the seasons reflect our lives