My Mom has Alzheimer’s.
The Mom who wiped my tears when I cried and sent me out to try again. The Mom who taught me about respect and the Golden Rule. The Mom who pushed me to be strong and independent and hard working and who demonstrated creativity in everything she did. She taught me about quality and fabric and how to sew. And she taught me to Dream. In other words, My Mom – the foundation of my success in life and in business.
It started several years back, but we all wanted to pretend like we didn’t notice. And so we pretended. But now the doctors have given it a name – Alzheimers. Somehow the name makes it scarier because we know it won’t get better. I’ve been trying to pay attention to the doctors and research on my own to understand how to make things easier for her and for those of us who love her. Let’s back up to the part where I told you that my Mom taught me to Dream. What she actually taught me to do was to focus on goodness and light before I fell asleep to stave off my childhood nightmares. Through this, I learned that whatever I focused on before I fell asleep is what I dreamt about. This was how I studied in highschool and college and is the basis of my business. Last night, I was thinking about how to best help my Mom before I drifted off. And an answer came in my Dreams…
Three Wise Women
I walked into a cozy living room and there were three Wise Women lounging on oversized chairs. I recognized them. Not their faces, but their spirits. They didn’t call themselves wise – they didn’t have to. They were my ancestors and my future. They were the Universal representation of everyone and everything that I love. And they told me they each had a message for me. The first woman said, “Patience and calm”. She said my Mom will have strong emotional reactions that sometimes by our standards may not feel logical. But they are logical based on her interpretation at that moment. She told me to be patient with her emotional expressions but not to get caught up in them. “Acknowledge her understanding, but do not confirm or participate in fueling her perspective. Remain calm.”
The second woman said, “Listen and let her speak. Whether you’ve heard the same story 5 minutes ago or every day for weeks, the story is new to her. Listen and let her share it. Remain engaged with her like a friend. Listen to the story behind the story – there may be something in it you missed the first time.”
The third woman said, “Live your life”. She said that my Mom’s experience is difficult, but she is never alone. She assured me that the three wise women are there. Universal Love. Her family, her ancestors, her spirit. While I can try to be with her and support her, the third woman reminded me that it is most important that I continue living and experiencing life at every level and trust that she will be OK. She said I should engage in life. I should run and play and laugh and love and succeed. In other words, I should do all the things that Alice taught me to do and that life goes on.
I know they were wise woman. I know those answers are right, but they can be difficult to remember. It feels as if a piece of life as I understand it is slowly being pulled away. My Mom taught me to be strong and independent, and she also taught me to pay attention. I vow to pay attention and learn from wisdom wherever it is offered, even if it feels like a dream.
Mom, I promise, I’ll always do my best.
I love you.
ALZHEIMER’S SHIRT $25
As a part of our efforts to give back, we've designed a t-shirt with a message that is perfect for Alzheimer's patients and those of us who love them.
The shirt is a dark heather grey, loose cut tee with adorable high-low hemline.
100% of profits from the sale of these shirts will be given to the Alzheimer's Association.