Living In The Moment

family-pics-108-150x150My mother Charlotte Lowry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 67. Our family was faced with many challenges as we grasped to understand the disease. What I have learned from my experiences as a family caregiver is that Alzheimer’s patients live in the moment and it is our job as family and friends to give them as many moments as possible.

It was those moments as her memory faded that I learned that we can embrace the disease and find peace within our hearts. I will admit it was very difficult being the daughter of my mother who could no longer remember my name. But it was those moments we shared for what I remember today. Often she and I would just laugh over her telling a story and sometimes it brought tears. I can remember those difficult times of just washing her hair and how angry she would become. By the time her hair was dry she would look at me with a smile and say thank you. It was the simplest things that would bring the biggest smiles to my mother. She would often gaze at the clouds during our walks and tell me how beautiful they were. She would always point out the beautiful things in life that we often take for granted. As the disease progressed and her voice failed, she would give me those looks that only a mother would give a daughter. Those are the moments I remember most.

As time passed and the disease progressed, having those moments seemed to slip away. But I always would sit and talk to her hoping that in some way she could understand. A special moment occurred with my mother during her last few months. I had recently become engaged to my fiancé and I wanted to share the news with her. She sat this night in her chair slumped to one side as I approached her. I sat down next to her as I began to tell her about my engagement. For one moment my mom was there. She turned her head and reached out for my hand looking directly into my eyes with a smile. What seemed to be an eternity lasted only for a few seconds. But for those few seconds my mom shared a moment for a lifetime.

I have learned so much from those moments I shared with my mother. If you are faced with these challenges just remember to cherish every moment, laugh as loud as you can, and it’s okay to cry if you need to. It is for these moments we will always remember.

About Lisa Lowry Riesenmy

Founder / CEO, Lisa Riesenmy – Lisa, a native of Joplin Missouri, founded Charlotte’s Angels in 2008 after seeing the need first hand that Joplin needed a home care agency that understood Alzheimer’s and the progression of the disease. Through Lisa’s direction and leadership she has made Charlotte’s Angels the leader in providing home care services in the SW Missouri Area. Lisa’s passion to help families who are affected by Alzheimer’s has created an Angel Team dedicated to Alzheimer’s Specialty Care .