Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.—1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-5 (NLT)
Everybody has regrets after a loved one has passed away; words they should have said and those they wish they could take back. Alzheimer’s is a different type of death. It’s a death of the mind, not the body.
At first Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed slowly. I thought I still had time to express love and gratitude. But suddenly Mom was no longer Mom. I don’t know the exact moment I lost her. One day she knew me, and then one day she didn’t.
I always had a hard time expressing love to my mother. I don’t know why. The words just stuck in my throat. Maybe because Mom declared her love to me so often and effusively that it made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Yet, she never gave up on me. She was always hopeful that the words would come more easily to me and that I would reciprocate her words of love.
Now that she no longer expresses her love, I long for those words. I tell her that I love her every single time I visit, in hopes that she somehow knows who I am and understands that I am finally reciprocating. But I’m afraid the opportunity has passed. Express gratitude and love every chance you get. Tomorrow may be too late.