It has been almost a year since she has said these words to me, and there are days during my monthly visits with her that she struggles to remember who I am. We both tear up, because she knows that I am supposed to be someone important to her, but she can't remember. Other times, like the trip I just took, we start from where we left off and she remembers incredible details about my life. We laugh. We talk. We tell stories and we even cry together during these brief times. Some people stare at us, because we giggle like little girls after her doctor's appointments. She has become like a child in many ways. I tell her if she's good at the doctor's, I will treat her to her favorite noodle dish and desserts. Then, when it's time for me to fly back to Denver after two or three days of fun and doctor appointments, she always gets sad and says, "Do you have to leave already? Why can't you stay longer?" And I know as a fact that even as I fly home, she has already forgotten about the wonderful couple of days together.
So what has been my decision in all of this? Alzeheimer's will become my new best friend too. I have to live with it in my mother-in-law, and I adore my mother-in-law. I will spend time with mom loving every moment and not become depressed or upset by mom's condition just as she has accepted it in her life. And even if she doesn't remember the laughs and special moments, I will remember. I won't let what she remembers or doesn't remember keep me from giving everything to her when I'm with her. And every memory will stay close to my heart.