Tuesday, May 07, 2013

"Remembering" on Mother's Day

When most people think about Alzheimer’s many only think of people losing their memory.  But it is so much more.  It’s getting confused about the simplest things, not being able to make change in a store, not being able to follow a conversation, having a problem crossing the street, not being able to productive.   Memory is still a big part of the whole picture, but medicine has been somewhat helpful for me.

I worry about the memories yet to be made.  I worry about the things I will forget – like weddings, graduations, first steps, birthdays and vacations.  We all tend to take them for granted.

Several years ago I went to the local card store looking for a card to send to my son Alan on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to thank him for being a good son and making me the mother I was – be it good or bad! But Hallmark hadn't caught on to that, so I expressed my feelings another way. 

So as Mother’s Day approaches I wanted to “remember” some things from my experience as a mother so if you’ll indulge me in this I have a few things to say to my son –

Dear Alan –
I remember ---
  • Reading Curious George books to you over and over and over
  • You correcting me if I missed a word here and there
  • Your kindergarten teacher calling to tell me she didn’t feel comfortable reading a story your wrote about how babies were made because it was too real for the other children to hear – you have your father to thank for that!
  • The “marble incident”
  • The first time I saw you singing in a school play – I had no idea
  • Your “first crush” that was not reciprocated
  • How nervous I used to get when you were in musical theater productions.  I don’t know how athletes’ mothers handle it!
  • That you didn't seem embarrassed when we did a few shows together – thank you for that opportunity
  • How you used “the marble incident” as the topic for an important paper
  • “Date night” – did I really think I was teaching you how to act on a date?
  • When you got mononucleosis your freshman year in college and worried about your grades
  • Telling you about my Alzheimer’s diagnosis and sharing some tears with you.  That’s when you told me about meeting Jennifer – your future wife.
  • You being miffed that Yale put you on a waiting list for Law School
  • Watching you deliver a speech in Macon on our family’s battle with Alzheimer’s
  • Your law school graduation from Stanford – you worked hard for that
  • You coming to my rescue in a New York City subway on the way out to Flushing Meadow for the US Open
  • Ice skating in Rockefeller Center, in Pentagon Row in Washington DC and in Atlanta – notwithstanding Dad’s broken elbow
  • You telling us that you wanted to move closer to home once you finished your clerkship in DC
  • Giving you all the letters I had written you over the years on the eve of your wedding – that was hard for both of us
  • Of course, the wedding
  • You and Jennifer buying your first house.

As I write this, I chuckle to myself at all the things you would probably remember differently – but it’s Mother’s Day and it’s my turn!  Seriously, you and Jennifer have so many more memories to make in the years to come. And, although I may be around in body, I’ll miss many of them. As you grow older, you’ll realize how precious memories can be.  I cherish all of those I can remember now and hate that I have already lost some.
Thanks for making me the mom I am – good or bad.
                                                                                                            Love, Mom

1 comment:

ROBYN LANE said...

This is beautiful! So, so tender and raw. Love it!