Role Reversal or How it Should be…

I’ve been meaning to write this. Mostly for myself. Just a note. Something to remind me of her. She doesn’t know my name. My memories of her are fading. I have to create new ones — I have to or what will I be left at the end of the day?


We have moments. They’re strange — not normal. Surreal even. Moments when I play the role of mom and she’s the child. She doesn’t listen to me. She does what she wants. She whines. She fights me. She makes me buy her chicken legs and bird seed… please don’t ask… I try to say no, “you have bird seed and there are like 4 packs of chicken in the fridge…” She tries to trick me. She lies with a smile. I laugh and smile sometimes. I hold her hand when we walk across the parking lot. I place her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep at church—and that leads me to my moment, my mother/daughter moment, when our roles are reversed and order is restored for a brief second.

Most every Sunday, I take her to church. I’ve been going to church with her ever since I moved home… but as a lapse Catholic, I have an old habit of falling asleep during Mass. I like to think of it as “meditation.” During those brief moments, I place my head on her shoulder and nap… but before I fall asleep, she caresses my face—she remembers. She knows… she knows I’m her baby.

And then we have to kneel. Thrust back into our reality. The one where she has a totally random conversation with me while everyone is praying.

The one where she (for the 20th time in the last hour) asks me about inviting Padre Andres to the house for “fruit” (that’s dinner in dementia).


  1. I don’t think I’ve found a blog entry on any blog that resembled my times with Mom at church until I read this entry today. I would kneel with Mom and she would, too, have that ‘random conversation with me.’

    My mother passed away last week. I can only say that towards he last 6 months she became more sweet and less demanding. She had her ‘give me my fruit’ moments, only with her own choice of ‘fruit’ words. She did that alot.

    We had never enjoyed seeing Mom with this disease. It can be very hard on the caregivers, I did not see Mom every day, as she was in an assisted living home, but did see her often (well, for me, considering the other obligations I had). I guess its all relative. I feel guilty after her death, and then at other times I do not feel guilty for not being there every day.

    Anyhow, just some random thoughts on my part. I miss her very much. I miss her old self. Now that she has passed, we all mourn the loss of her old self, whereas during the last 4 years of her ‘diagnosed’ dementia, we just never had that chance to mourn. I would think that is pretty normal across the board to mourn the loss, even with her quick and not always pretty decline.

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