It’s been five full years since Mom has known my name. But I’ve always said, she doesn’t have to know my name for me to feel her love. Even after she forgot who I was, Mom always remembered her best friend Vivian Adams someone she’s known for my entire life.
Last year, Mom started to forget her dearest friend but I had warned Mrs. Adams in advance and she was just fine with it. Mrs. Adams continued to share their old stories and memories and Mom laughed and giggled with her friend though I’m sure she didn’t understand all that was going on. But none of that seemed to matter.
Last August, Mrs. Adams was the victim of a domestic violence incident with her son which caused social services to remove her from her home and place her in protective custody in a senior residence. I was able to track her down and saw her on her birthday on August 31. She smiled brightly when I walked into her room that day but it was clear she didn’t know my name but she still had a sense of who I was. I was told she had suffered a traumatic brain injury and that it was unlikely that she’d regain much of her memory.
For most of my life we’d spend Mom’s birthday on February 18th with Mrs. Adams and we’d all celebrate Mrs. Adams birthday in August together. So today, I was determined to get the two ladies together for Mom’s 90th!! I knew it was unlikely that they’d know each other but I still wanted them to be together.
So I placed Mom’s 90th birthday tiara on her head and we headed to see Mrs. Adams! When the two ladies saw each other you couldn’t have scripted it any better!! They smiled the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen and both said “HI” in their most joyful voices!! They didn’t really have a conversation exactly…. just “how are you?” and the other would answer “fine and you!!” and that went on for quite a few minutes. But it was when they weren’t sharing their few words that you could see and feel their love for each other.
They would smile and nod over and over and a few times they held hands and stared straight ahead. I sat and watched them for about 15 minutes and I felt so full I thought I would burst. A traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease may have prevented them from continuing their old relationship full of more than 80 years of memories, YET neither brain disorder was any match for the love that the two friends share. I learned so much from watching the two of them this morning… the primary lesson being that sometimes words really are overrated, and as the old saying goes, all you really need is love! As we got ready to leave, tears streamed down Mrs. Adams’ face and she said “I’m so happy”…. I couldn’t have said it any better! God knows I was happy too… we all waved and Mom yelled to Mrs. Adams “see you next time!” And Mrs. Adams said “can’t wait”. I hope I don’t forget our visit this morning any time soon because it was one of the most meaningful things I’ve done in a long time!
Love you Mom! Love you Mrs. Adams! Thanks for reminding me that love really can conquer all!!
Oh, Loretta. This made my day. I am so very happy that you took your mom to celebrate her birthday with her friend. What a beautiful, beautiful story. I’m so glad you have that memory locked in your heart!
Because you posted this today, I am going to send you another poem I wrote about my mother. I think you will “get it.”
Lots of love to you and a very happy 90th birthday to your mom!!!! I hope she has many, many more chances to visit Mrs. Adams.
Thank you for sharing this sweet story.
Your poem was spectacular!!!! And YEP I absolutely get it. The memory of the two best friends is etched on my heart for sure!!!! What a beautiful memory for a time in our world when we can use some love and joy!!!
You and your writing are awesome my friend!!
This is the Best thing i’ve read in a while. First a very HAPPY BORNDAY TO YOUR MOM. Second, So very Happy that they had this magical time together. As always Mrs. V. you were able to put into words what you saw and we thank you for sharing yet another beautiful story.
Thank you so much Robert!!!! It was so much fun being with them!!!! It reminded me that I need to really enjoy the small things in life because it turns out they are really big things!!!!
What joy to celebrate your Mom’s 90th birthday with you today! The portrait of these two best friends brought us into the room. Your email to me on celebrating Charlie’s stepdad’s 90th birthday yesterday warmed our hearts and showed us how bonded we really are. Thank you for the gifts you bring us in sunny and stormy weather.
Sooooo glad y’all had such an awesome time with Norm too!!! The love and innocence of our older loved ones is truly something to behold!!! And of course I absolutely appreciate you reading my blog!!!
Love ya to the moon and back!!