As a teacher of teen girls, I am constantly reminded of their ignorance when it comes to mortality. “Youth is fleeting” does not appear on their radar as they whimiscally drift through life, hopping from car to car, party to party, text message to text message. At 37 I am reminded of mortality daily. Whether it’s the concern for my sons or the gray hairs I have begun tweezing, I know age and death are definitive.

I am aslo reminded of this fact because my mother was recently diagnosed with dementia. I have known for years that something seemed not quite right……But ignorance is bliss and when my while family decided to swim in the pool of ignoration, I suppose I did to. However now we are very aware that things have changed, she has changed and we are introduced to a new person. One who is forgetful, sometimes confused, frustrated, short tempered and insecure. Gone is the confident, independent woman who was my mom.

I have begun to mourn my mom. I have to. I cannot wake up one day and become sad about it. I have to embrace this illness and do my best to guide and educate myself on what the next step will be. I want to know if I will get it. I want to know if I can prevent it. I want to desperately take back all of the damage I have done to my body. I want to walk into my mother’shouse and find her cooking, sipping wine while juggling phone calls and making her home look like something Martha Stewart could only hope for.

I don’t want to go home to a half empty fridge, wishing she had remembered how to open my email which asked her to buy my son cheerios and milk.