I asked family members to help me remember who my mom is.
I have scattered memories of her before the disease took hold of her.
I can’t remember
much about our time together as mother and daughter.
Spots of laughter and love are becoming few and far between.
I remember how much we used to love to have lunch at a department store in
Guayaquil, Ecuador but even that memory is becoming frayed…
I took her to our store last September when we visited Ecuador and she didn’t remember that
Casa Tosi was our store, our spot. Instead, she was difficult and wanted to leave.
Today, all I can see in front of me is this woman who spits and laughs and cries simultaneously.
She’s a stranger to me. I know she’s my mother, but I can’t connect with her. I don’t like when she kisses me.
I feel guilty, I feel sad,
I am disappointed in myself.
My Aunt Lynn sent me these words and I wanted to share as part of my series, “Who is She?”
“There are many things that I remember about her. Before this awful disease took over your moms life, I don’t ever recall a moment when your mom was not happy. She was always smiling , always kind, always generous. I have never heard a negative word from your mom’s lips which is a quality you don’t see often enough. She seemed to always be enjoying her life. I remember a lot of little things: I remember how Margarita and Gen would get their “uniforms” on after dinner at the cabin. — A nightgown and robe. We would all settle down after you kids were in bed and have a drink and just chat and unwind. I remember that she loved beets cooked the same way I did and when we made them I think she and I ate most of them which we laughed about since no one seemed to notice but us. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had her mastectomy your mom called her and offered her support. That meant a lot to my whole family. They stayed in touch after that with notes and cards.
I remember too that she was, first and foremost, a mom. It was always obvious what her priority was. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Margarita as you moved away not too long after Dennis and met. Our time together was often during the holidays with a house full of people, so we never got to visit for very long. When she visited us before she became really sick, we actually had a chance to talk. Lisa and the girls came over and your mom just lit up while holding Cecelia. The entire time she held her, she kept talking about you. She never stopped smiling the whole time. After that, I saw her at Thanksgiving at Kara’s house. It was hard to see your mom unable to remember names, but what stood out to me was just how darn happy she was. That’s the part of your mom that I will always remember, and that I suspect is still there: She was always happy and always positive.”