It’s very early in the morning. I have been up since 2:30 am, worrying. The weather is -15 outside with snow & the wind chill, and I want to be sure my momma stays warm. She is snugged in with 4 blankets and the heat set at nearly 80 degrees, and still she is cold. Her early morning story to me was to let me know she is having a baby, and she worries that it’s too cold in the morning for her and the baby. She smiles, turns over and falls back to sleep. I love these quiet moments, when all seems at peace. We have more quiet moments now, as she sleeps longer hours both day and night. Her struggles with her disappointment and her family pain remain. But even that pain has settled in somewhat. Her lasting fear is that she is afraid of dying. She spoke quite clearly about this in the last few days. She can’t let go, because she is afraid of what comes with death. She has lost her beliefs in something greater than life. For all the tragedy she has endured, and for all her fear, she tries so hard to feel love, and to find love. My frail, tiny momma is a rock of strength. She clings to what matters most- to love and family. As hard as this journey has been, we have all been transformed I owe my gratitude to her for showing me such strength and love. I owe my gratitude to her for pushing me into finding the light in this dark journey of hell known as Alzheimer’s disease. My blessings are in the smallest of things: the moments we share together when she remembers who I am, when she smiles in awe at a piece of toast, when she asks for hugs as she cries, when she holds on tight to be comforted, and when she has in depth conversations with the dog while petting him. These are the things I cherish.

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