“Is it true that I’m your mother?” my mom asks me.
“Is that how you see it?”
“That’s how it is,” I say.
“So you think of me as the mother?” she asks.
“Yes, mom,” I say. “You’re the mother.”
“So that means you’re not the mother?” she asks.
Good question, because more and more, it seems like she’s right. I’ve become my mom’s mother as Alzheimer’s destroys her brain.
But in some ways, this has always been our relationship. I have always felt like her mother, even as a child — especially as a child. She confided all of her troubles in me, and I took care of her emotional well-being. It screwed me up, and I’ve spent years recovering from it.
That was really hard. What’s happening now isn’t easy, but it’s a lot more simple.
Strange how Alzheimer’s gives me a second chance at having a healthy relationship with my mom.