My Family & Other Animals

Elizabeth Byrne - 4th August 1938 to 16th December 2005



Dear Mum,

It is 10years ago today that you lost your battle with Alzheimers.

I thought of you all day wondering why it had to be?!

Since you have gone we have been through so much. I miss you. 

I wish you had got to spend just a bit longer with us. I wish we could have spent just a bit longer talking, sharing, laughing, loving and just being together.

I think of those times that you let me stay home from school. Shhhh you would say.... don't let Dad know that your still home. Close your eyes and go to sleep. Once he has gone to work you can get up. We would just hang out - change the bed sheets, hang washing and talk, talk, talk. I don't remember what we talked about, but my heart remembers the love. I treasure those memories.

This disease is cruel. It taunts you. You slowly start repeating things, many times. so many. We try to be patient but its so so hard. How many times can you pretend that you haven't heard the same story before, many times before!

You are driving and suddenly you forget where you are and how do I get to there?? 

It strips the memory, leaving you doubting yourself - am I going crazy? Its just there on the sidelines, waiting for you to grab it. You don't remember that you don't remember.

Then you leave the stove on. The saucepan is blackened beyond belief. You go to the shops and come back 5 hours later, and buy only bread. You've been trying to get home, but couldn't remember how. Trapped.

Then one day you can only stride - very fast, almost a jog. Keeping up is difficult. You walk all the time, often. 

Eating becomes impossible. We stroke your throat to make you open up and pop the food in, just like feeding the little bird. But you are ravenous. Forgetting that you have eaten, constantly thinking you are hungry. We shovel the food in. 

Then one day you don't get out of bed anymore. Bed ridden, being lifted and moved so that bed sores don't develop. 

Numerous false scares, medical issues and then the last dance. She's gone.

Did you know she used to teach ball room dancing?  

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