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August 6, 2013

For years I have been comparing this disease to a roller coaster, and for good reasons.  I never know what to expect when I go to visit mom.  There used to be the days of severe mood swings, and meanness, contrasted by days of being like a sweet and innocent child. 

In recent months, mom has been very quiet, rarely awake.  Conversations have been pretty much one-sided.  She would talk in rambling gibberish with a sporadic understandable word.  There were times that she laughed out loud with a contagious laughter that caused everyone around her to laugh out loud as well. 

Today, I had such a heartwarming visit; I couldn’t believe my own ears. Mom was truly engaged and knew what I was saying and she was responsive.  We had several real conversations.  Of course I was as thrilled as any proud momma, watching her little one make a major accomplishment.

We took our usual walk around the building, speaking to various people in the hallways.  We stopped in the TV room so we could sit and talk.  

I told her that I was going to be gone for a few days; that I was going to take a vacation.  She looked at me and smiled, and then in her very soft voice, she said, “Good.”  This is usually where the conversation stops.  But she continued on, “You should.”  “You need to take care of yourself.” “ You need to have fun.”  I was dumbfounded!  I just giggled, and said, “What did you say?” and she repeated the whole thing again.  Yes, I really did hear her tell me to go and have fun and take care of myself. 

When I told her that I loved her, she repeated it back to me.  Something she has not done in a long time.  She usually responds with, “Good” or “Thank You.” But for her to say, “I love you too,” was a true gift from God.

But there is more.  

We talked about the flowers outside and the colors in the drapes hanging on the windows.   She taps me on the arm, leans in real close to me and says, “I won’t forget you.”  It was all I could do to keep from crying.  She smiled at me and said, “OK?”  I said, “OK, then when I get back from my vacation I will tell you all about the beaches and the palm trees. She only shrugged her shoulders.

It was time to take Mom to the dining room for dinner.  When I told her that I needed to leave, she said OK, I Love You, You Have Fun!” Three complete phrases at one time!  Even the nurse standing there was impressed. 

I struggle with trying to analyze the day.  Was this the calm before the storm?   Was this just one more high point in the ride?  Was it God reassuring me that it is OK to go and get away for a while?  Or was I given the lesson that one should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up hope? 

I can’t shake the nagging feeling that I have, that I might not be able to tell her about the palm trees and beaches when I return.

Now with bags packed; I am wondering if I should go or not.

Today’s lesson was fun, and truly memorable, but I do not know the answer to the question.

Should I stay or should I go?




  1. Oh, darling girl, I am in tears–joy and sorrow. What a loving daughter and woman you are! God bless you and your mother. Have a great vacation!

  2. Kay permalink

    God has given you a wonderful gift and your Mother’s has given you her blessing to go and enjoy your vacation. So you better mind your Mommy. Enjoy!

  3. Well damn! I had to stop reading to dry my eyes so I could see the rest of the post. I am SO happy that you had that day! You must go, she said so, & you have to do as your mother says. Besides, if your intuition is correct she just might go with you (in her own way)! But they also have a way of waiting til you get home, as my little Emily did for me.

  4. Lisa permalink

    I too cried, reading this post. Such a beautiful , magic moment! I hope that you do get to share your vacation memories with Grandma, but if that is not in God’s plan…..I hope that you have peace in your mother’s words….”I Love You.” “I Won’t Forget You.” “You Have Fun!” Such awesome words to live by.

  5. Sandy permalink

    What a beautiful, wonderful, and joyful visit you had today! It was a gift to you both I think. You should do what your mother tells you— go and have fun and take care of yourself.

  6. Carolyn, my dear friend….
    You had a lovely day with your mom in which she was able to tell you. how she feels about you. It was a blessing,. Since none of us can predict the future, I really think you should take your vacation & enjoy yourself as she would like. It breaks my heart for what you are dealing with because I have lived the rollercoaster ride with both parents for years. My best advice is to always remember it isn’t us who is in control, God is operating this ride & he will take care of you and your mom. I love you girly!
    Sheila Stokes

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