She Didn’t Recognize Me

Mom and dad popped by the house the other day to pick me up and take me to the airport. Nothing unusual. Opened the door, the ‘rents walked in, hugged dad and prepared for my mom’s usual, OVER THE TOP, HUGS AND KISSES… “I luf you! I luf you! You’re my husband! You came out of ME!” But nothing. She said hello and just looked around.

She had no idea where she was or who I was! In fact, she seemed confused.

It was surreal. I wasn’t hurt or angry. I was actually glad she was calm while I gave dad the tour of my house and showed him where the cat food was stashed.

About 20 minutes later as we got into the care she asked me if I was her daughter.

She looked at my dad, “Is that our daughter?”

Yes Margo.

“Are you our daughter?”

Yes mom.


I’m not especially surprised that she didn’t recognize me. It’s part of the disease. It’s more trippy than anything, and I can’t change how this disease progresses, nor can I take it personally. You know, I think I’m so used to this life, this shattered life—that is the nature of her disease—that nothing really phases me.

Nothing really hurts anymore.


  1. it IS so strange when this happens. I remember describing my dad like a flickering light bulb. There would be times he’d be super lucid and clear – then in the next instant, it would be “out”. I don’t think it will be long where she won’t even know it’s supposed to be Sunday (if it gets more difficult to take her to church). BTW – I am so proud of you for booking your trip for November. You have to keep your own perspective and live your life. Thinking of you this week – and especially your Dad.

  2. I know that feeling. Fortunately (or unfortunately, however you view my huge denial), my mom’s dementia began as a visual problem–she could see just fine, but her brain couldn’t process what she saw. Even now, she can see the tiny little emblem on my shirt, but she can’t see the red car when it’s the only one in front of us. Anyhow….when my mom doesn’t recognize me, I tell myself (and I know I’m doing it) that she just couldn’t see my features, so she didn’t VISUALLY recognize me. As I said, though, she can’t see a car. But she can see a fruit fly. And I rationalize my way through it all so that I don’t have to think about what you’re thinking about. I’m a chicken.

  3. I can relate. My dad had surgery and was in the hospital for a week. He is her primary caregiver. I am just. A. Backup to take her 10 hours a week lunch etc. At night she was scared asked me who I was and did not believe me when told her I was your daughter Annie. She said “no honey you are a dear friend of the family but you are not Annie” at this time tears were running down my face and she said “oh honey don’t be sad you can call me mom if you would like.” I think that when she is in her routine she is much better. I am so glad I found your site..I will be searching for info…

  4. I found your blog because I came home from work today and Mom asked me which one I was. She didn’t recognize me. The funny thing is that at the moment it really didn’t upset me. I knew it would happen eventually. However the more I think about it, it makes me incredibly sad. I realize that ones it gets to this point it isn’t like we can go back. We just progress with good days and bad days.

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