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A Pearl Necklace

People say, “I don’t know how you keep it together with your Mom. How do you know how to communicate?”

I tell them I don’t always handle my sadness and grief very well. But sometimes, I do.

I tell them I don’t always have the strength to visit. But sometimes, I do.

I say we hold hands and sit quietly. Mom talks and kisses my hand. I listen and make her laugh. That is how we communicate.

Change, Acceptance, and Loss were in tow with dementia when they knocked on our door 14 years ago. These houseguests devastated our lives, then healed them.

Everyday Dementia, Change, Acceptance, and Loss have the power to devastate or heal. It is a tug-of-war, so no day is perfect. But moments can be.

Grace showed up for brandy and cake. I found that Grace doesn’t discriminate. If I reach out my hand, Grace will too.

For me, “happy” doesn’t mean happy all the time. That’s a myth embraced by those whose cheese has slid off their cracker. Happy, for me, is found in moments and simplicity.

If I can tell Mom I love her, or she recognizes me, or we can just sit and be, that has the power to heal my day. When I tell her about how blissful, contented, and funny the dogs are, that has the power to heal my day.

I tell people Mom is still shaping my life. She is still helping me fine-tune my values and beliefs. She still shows me how imperfection and frailties shape my character, humility, and compassion. Or that sorrow and frustration are the brick and mortar of wisdom. Mom is still teaching me to let the bittersweet moments be the light.

“But,” my mind hears her say, “It is your job to find the pearls, string them together, and wear their beauty with pride.”

“Thanks, Mom,” I whisper to myself. “How do they look?”

Happy Mother’s Day. Vic

(Included in May Newsletter)

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