A Daughter to Dementia Poem

Mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia in her fifties. She is now in her sixties and instead of hanging out with me, sipping margaritas on a Friday night- or helping me plan my wedding- or pressuring me with her excitement for grandkids; she is locked on the 2nd floor memory care unit at an assisted living. I spend my evenings and lunch breaks pacing hallways with whatever pieces of my mother still exist within her shell. I study her. I miss her. I love her. I need her. I may be obsessed with trying to "fix" her... but I believe most daughters would feel the same. None of us want to feel alone, so here is a reminder for whoever is reading this= You are not alone.

A Daughter to Dementia Poem
Each day would be easier if I knew what to expect.
But every minute is different; leaving my emotions a wreck.
Sometimes I feel her soul look me direct, deep in my eyes,
like she is stuck in a body that can't communicate, but tries.

I don't know who I am to her, but I act like her friend.
I smile and remind her I will be here till the end.
I don't ask her questions, and I always agree,
I try to bring her happiness, and remember it's not about me.

She doesn't say my name anymore, or call me her kid.
But I remind myself of all the once upon a times when she did.
Then Somedays she seems to know just who I am.
But I refrain from asking because it send her brain into a spin.

Somedays she's loving, somedays she's fun
but somedays she's angry, depressed and high strung.
I do what I can to keep her anxiety low,
music and dancing usually makes her glow.

She hears all sounds around her, and some words make her cry
She always wants to go home, and feels lonely, but I try.
I try to make her comfortable and try to give her love
I pray each and every day for help  from God above.

I watch her humiliation as she attempts things on her own.
I've watched her lose knowledge of common items like a phone.
My amazing mother and best friend is like a toddler now.
I try to accept her fate, but I don't know how.

Her eyesight is failing and her appetite is small.
She can't use silverware, read, write or catch a ball.
Her attention span is lacking and memory connections gone.
She doesn't recall ever marrying my father Ron.

She does recognize certain faces and seems to know lots of songs,
she still understands the difference between right and wrong.
She still loves Elvis and goes to sleep on her side.
She still hugs me like my mother did when I cried.

I daydream of ways to fix her or at least more ways to help.
I get caught up in feeling what I think she may have felt.
I've been sick to my stomach for over 10 years.
I have taken on major anxiety, depression and new fears.

If there is no cure for my momma then there is no cure for me.
As a caretaker, I just try to make each day the best it can be.
I wish for a miracle, I wish for more time.
I wish there was hope for a mother like mine.


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