Saturday, June 7, 2014

Things I Should Have Said

Dear Mother,

When I was growing up, you told me hindsight is twenty-twenty.  I didn’t get it then. I do now.

Before Alzheimer’s made its appearance, we had deep, meaningful conversations .. but there were things I neglected to say .. and even though you are no longer here, I hope writing this letter will bring me closure, diminish my lingering guilt.

I should have said you never had to fear being alone .. I would be there to care for you, share your pain, sing with you, walk with you, tell you stories, laugh and cry with you, cradle you in my arms.  As you did when I was a child.

I wonder if hearing those words might have made it less terrifying for you as you lost memories, your essence.  The journey was long and hard, my dear.. Through it all, you retained your dignity, beauty, charm and grace .. that is one tough act to follow, sweet lady!

I will love you forever,
Helen Louise


  1. ... a cautionary tale, have those conversations with loved ones while you can.

  2. Sounds like your mother was such a dear to you. Lots of wisdom and lots of love sent Helen's way.
    Mom didn't get Alzheimer's disease but otherwise I could send this to her. In her own way she was precious to me. Not Dad, he set the course and I would not change it. But he doesn't deserve a letter like this, I tolerated.

  3. I hear you, Helen. Yet there must always be regret to accompany memories such as these. If only we had known the right thing to say at the right time.

  4. A heart warming/sad letter. Alzheimer's is not a pretty disease. Dad was the same. He was a gentleman to the end.

    Bless you. I know this road you have traveled.

  5. Oh Helen...this is absolutely beautifully tender and authentic. Thank you.

  6. Those who have lived and experienced can see things so differently... If only we could see through their eyes...

    I pray she holds you and everyone and everything that has matter to her in a special place in her soul she can access in ways we can't quite see.

  7. This goes straight to my heart. My mother had Alzheimer's. I remember visiting her before she was totally lost to the disease. We lived in Oklahoma at the time and when it was time to for us to depart after seeing her she said, "I wish you didn't have to leave." Without a doubt I believe she was speaking about herself. She was telling me that she regretted she would forget me. I know it doesn't make sense, but I felt in that moment she was telling me goodbye. The next time I saw her she didn't recognize me.

  8. I also went through the same thing with my Wife's mother, and weirdly as she started down that slippery slope, I was the only one she trusted for some reason. she had only known me for 6 months. This letter lays out the truth of the disease in brutal yet comforting detail. Here's to hoping everyone has someone like you to care for them when and if the time comes. Great letter Helen.

    Warmest Wishes,


  9. You are an inspiration to me - and obviously your mother is someone I would admire as well. This is a lovely letter…

  10. Oh, what a lovely letter to your mom, Helen, so warm and caring . Thank you so much for the positive note and prayers for Rea....Christine

  11. Beautiful and heartfelt post :)


  12. heartfelt write...ah, i hate to think of things i should have said...they scare me more than the things i do is good to be appreciative of what they gave us...even if we di not realize it at the time....

  13. You do that... You care and you do something about it! X