My oldest son’s Senior Prom, May 2009. We were taking pictures by the big maple tree in our front yard, when I told him to stand next to his date and “…look like you like each other.” I was teasing, of course, but my mother looked at me, chuckled and said “Oh, Lisa! You’re so silly!” I know that it doesn’t seem like much to you, but that day was the very last time that she, my mother, recognized me and called me by my name. Already well into the mid-stage of Alzheimer’s, she rarely spoke a complete sentence. In fact, it had been some time since she had made any indication that she knew that I was her daughter. I wanted to run over and hug her (more like squeeze her), but I figured that just might freak her out a bit. That brief and seemingly insignificant moment was pure magic to me.
I keep waiting and wanting for that instant to come again, but I know that it won’t. Now, when she sees me there’s maybe a flicker of recognition that crosses her face, but it’s gone just as quickly as it comes. I’m no longer disappointed albeit a bit sad. I know how cruel this disease is and I know that it’s not her fault. However, if it were ever possible for me to travel through time and capture a moment to hold on to forever, it would be that one. The last time that my mom called me by my name.