A Son’s Letter to His Mother with Alzheimer’s Disease

About a year ago, Cynthia got lost on the way to her favorite ice cream place – one she had been to time and time again. When she finally found it, ordered herself a treat and got on the road home, she was alarmed to realize she couldn’t figure out how to drive across the street, becoming disoriented with the number of bright headlights and speed and number of the cars. In the weeks that followed this incident, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Cynthia and her son on Mother's Day

Cynthia and her son on Mother’s Day

Cynthia, 64, has become a passionate advocate for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, attending advocacy meetings, support groups and speaking at events. She recently moved to a retirement community in Napa, Calif., to be close to her son, who is her primary caregiver. She shared with us a letter her son wrote to her about the present and the future.

Mom,

I don’t want you to worry or be afraid. Let’s enjoy every single day and not think too much about whether you can remember as well as you could in the past.

I will watch over you and won’t let anything bad happen to you. If the time comes when we need to do more for you, I will make sure you have everything you need to have a great quality of life.

I wish I could change things. I wish I could take your illness for you but I can’t. All I can do is be there for you and love you.

Helpful information related to this story:

Hear from more early stage voices

If you have early stage Alzheimer’s

If you have younger onset Alzheimer’s (diagnosed before age 65)

Find early stage support groups in Northern California and Northern Nevada

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