A Mother's Endless Love: Reflections As a New Mama Caring for Her Mom With Dementia by Kimberly Chu
The night before Mother’s Day I dreamed I crawled into my mom’s bed for FaceTime, though our FaceTime has nothing to do with screens. It’s when my cheek is smothered against my husband’s (he secretly likes it). “I’m still here when you need me,” she said in my dream. I don’t often dream of her as she used to be. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering her before, when her eyes were always bright.
I’ve been missing her during these first wild weeks of motherhood. She didn’t notice Henry at first, but now she dances when he cries, as if his cry is the next song I ask Alexa to play.
There was one day when I couldn’t stop missing her. Breastfeeding was anything but an art, and my dog’s belly was full of the supposed milk-making lactation cookies that took me all day to bake. Instead of laughing about this unbelievable adventure, or holding Henry, or holding me, she was staring at the clock, announcing the time with every minute that passed. I felt this overwhelming fury. What if someday I was floating farther and farther away from Henry, from this little boy who I miss when he sleeps, whose cheeks I could FaceTime forever, and whose smile makes my life extraordinary. I was so sad for her.
Then she said, “Good that you have him. He’s so good for you.” It may not have been cheek to cheek, but she gave us our FaceTime.
Moms, even when we feel like we are far from succeeding, trust that we will always find a way to be there for FaceTime. May we savor every moment of it.
Photos: Jennifer McKenna Photography