My Mother was the woman I looked up to all my life. Tall, thin, pretty, she was a kind, Christian woman, who taught me manners, etiquette, how to respect others. I also learned from her how to show my independence and respect myself first. Three years ago, she had a series of small strokes. After she was released from the hospital, she was moved into Rosewood nursing home. She had some memory loss that would come and go. As with dementia, it eventually gets worse, but at first she was only confused. I would visit her nearly everyday, but when it was time to leave her, I would never say goodbye. I did that one time, not thinking, and her nurse said she cried for hours! From then on, I would tell her that I would be “right back”. Since she couldn’t see me leave, within a short amount of time, she would forget I had even been there. I never knew, when I visited, how she was, mentally. She could never call my name, but she always knew my face! Sometimes, we could have a conversation; a lot of times, I just followed her lead. She asked me one time “Do you live here too?”. I said that yes, I had a room down the hall. Then she began to talk about the dining hall and a couple of the nurses. Very pleasant. Sometimes, she would sit and listen to me talk, but not say much. I just never knew what to expect. Usually, I would stop by to see her on my way home from work. That was quieter than weekend visits. But one Saturday morning, after a busy week, I got up, threw on a pair of jeans, kind of ran a brush through my hair & headed to Rosewood to visit. I sat with Sarah and talked to her. She was very quiet. Finally, she looked up at me and said, “Who are you?.” I told her my name and she said – “Oh, – you look like One of US”! I never went to visit again without full makeup, hair styled!! Stay tuned.

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