After bouncing all over the country for 25 years chasing my career in airport operations and management, I moved to Sarasota, Florida in 2015 to take care of my mother. That’s us in the picture above—Christmas Eve 2009, Rome, Piazza Navona, to be exact. It was on that trip that I first started to notice something wasn’t quite the same with Mom. Her memory was slipping. But I wasn’t all that concerned yet. She was 78, after all. One could expect a few senior moments.
But a few years later my sister, who lived not far from Mom in Sarasota, started mentioning to my brother and me that Mom was really starting to forget things. I was in New Mexico and my brother was in Southern California. Even though he and I talked to her every day, it was hard for us to notice the forgetfulness. Mom is smart. And even though she wasn’t trying to deceive, she was good at covering up what she couldn’t remember, at least over the phone from thousands of miles away.
Eventually, it became more than obvious that Mom just couldn’t live alone anymore. Since she and I had always planned that I would be the one to be there for her when the time came, my choice was obvious. I was moving to Florida.
Now, I am her full-time care giver, and it’s been a steep learning curve. With no kids and having never been married, I’ve never had to take care of anyone but me. And memory loss and dementia just—well—there’s no other term for it so excuse my language—suck.
This blog is about our, Mom’s and my, challenges, but also joys and rewards. It’s a way for me to keep Mom forever alive in cyberspace, for me to vent, and also, hopefully, to lend support, experience and knowledge to others who are or will soon be a memory loss caregiver.