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December 05, 2016
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How Real I Used to Be: A Journey with My Mother through the Strange World of Alzheimer’s

Photo by Ross Brinkerhoff

As I watched the slow erosion of my mother’s brain, of her cognitive ability, of her independence, I learned to let go my expectations. She would never learn a new word, she would never be able to verbally communicate with me ever again. In time she “spoke” to me with a wiggle of her eyebrows or a grimace or a smile, or a look in her eyes that told me she was really my mom. She couldn’t utter a sound, but she spoke volumes.