Mom Makes Memories

1975
mom makes memories alzheimer's story

A note from my mom one year on Valentine’s Day:

“Love is the ingredient that makes every relationship in life, whatever it is, a little better.” Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 
Happy Valentine’s Day 
Love, Mom 

A mother’s love begins the day she holds us in her arms and the love continues after they are gone. My heart overflows with the memories my mom and I shared. She taught me how to cook, bake, manage a household, make a bed by folding the corners of the sheets, iron a shirt, wash clothes, load a dishwasher, and so much more. 

For many years we were crocheting afghans for friends and family which we loved to do together. I watched her knit and crochet afghans and wanted to learn but I am left-handed, and she was right-handed. How would I learn from watching her since she was right-handed? My mom went above and beyond to show me how to crochet and I made mistakes, yet she patiently showed me how to correct it and keep going. For years we donated afghans to non-profit children’s organizations, even the local children’s hospital. 

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At a young age, I began watching soap operas with my mom beginning with As the World Turns and The Young and The Restless. It was our time to sit down and enjoy the characters and storyline. If I asked her to play a game – like Rummikub, Backgammon, Uno, or Skip-bo – she would always oblige. Puzzles became our go-to during the pandemic and all the time we spent together was extra special. 

My mom was truly amazing at knitting, needlepoint, and crocheting, and she even made my Christmas stocking and other decorations we had at Christmas. Every year, the handmade Christmas decorations were hung up around the house showcasing her talents and I am deeply thankful to have each one. 

Every year since I was born, my mom would write a handwritten letter on lined paper in cursive about the year in review. What activities I participated in, school events, when I got sick, the trips we made to visit grandparents, and everything that occurred each month of the year. I cherish these hand-written letters. 

As I got older, my mom became my mentor, confidant, and best friend. We did everything together from shopping, cooking, baking, and going to church. She took me to Sunday school at a young age and I am forever grateful to help me grow my relationship with God and deepen my faith. For years she was involved in many church committees and devoted to the ladies’ guild even being president many years in a row. Every monthly newsletter she wrote was unique and she would spend hours making it heartfelt and full of information, tidbits, and quotes. She had a talent and skill for the written word and it was apparent in each newsletter, note, and card. 

Some of my mom’s funny sayings include: when shove comes to push (it’s supposed to be when push comes to shove), Oh, boy!, and jazz it up (when asked what spices she added to her meal). She always taught me “To have a friend you need to be a friend.” and “Don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed.” When she called a friend with some interesting news she would say, “Do you want to hear a good one?” 

After my mom passed away, my heart was broken to a million pieces, and it was also compounded since my dad passed away 60 days before my mom. My world was shattered losing both parents in such a short amount of time. Who was going to be my best friend? Who was going to love and support me when I was crying? Who was going to hug and tell me encouraging words when I needed it most? 

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I miss buying her Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day cards, hearing her voice, and everything about having a mom. The memories we shared and the love and laughter keep me going each day. 

As I tell everyone, “What can I say, I miss my folks a lot.” 

The loss of my mom will change my life forever. She was my first and forever friend. I will never get over the loss of losing my mom and it’s a loss that will tug at my heart always. So many things spark memories of her and our time together. Some days I just sit and cry and get it out and move on. When I go for walks in the neighborhood I look up at the sky and wonder what my parents are doing in Heaven without me. 

I wish Heaven had visiting hours. 

One day, I will see her and my dad again in Heaven and be reunited together. As she wrote in a letter to me, “I will always be your mom” and “You are a jewel of a daughter.” 

I love and miss you tremendously but come and visit me from time to time.