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My Mother and Alzheimer's

Brenda is a librarian and proud "crazy cat lady" with four cats sharing her home. She is an avid supporter of the Alzheimer's Association.


Moving Home

It was the Spring of 1993. My first husband had left me the previous year. That January I had packed up my little burgundy Honda CRX with all my belongings and moved from Ft. Pierce to Tallahassee. I was going to begin working on my Master's at Florida State. My divorce was finalized. Then my mother back home in Alabama became ill.

They said it was a stroke at first. But she didn't get better. The diagnosis was dementia.

My sister who lived next door became her caregiver, but as she was still working at the time, she hired a daytime sitter. Later she hired night help as well. After a year and a half she had grown tired and our mother was advancing through the typical stages of Alzheimer's. The family was considering placing our mother in a nursing home.

I vetoed that. I had not done well in graduate school so far, had even dropped out for one semester. Guilt over not being with my mother as well as all the emotions about my divorce, further complicated by messy relationships at school, all had taken a toll on my studies. I just needed one more summer semester to make up an incomplete I had taken in a class the previous year and I would be good to go home for a while.

I loaded up my Honda again and moved back home at the end of the Summer 1994.

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