I remember, oh how I remember.
I remember, how as a child, your presence always soothed me.
How I always slept better with you by my side.
I remember the nights you spent studying with me; all those classes that I never liked, and you secretly detested too, yet you helped me through them.
I remember how you fell asleep from sheer exhaustion of being a single mother of three daughters and holding a full-time job.
I remember when we first moved to Canada, the fateful day when you were hit by a car and taken to the hospital.
When you tried to hide the extent of your injuries, so your wouldn’t upset your daughters.
I remember the night before my first day of high school, you took me to the hair salon, got me a new haircut and had me pluck my eyebrows for the first time, just so I feel good about myself.
I remember what you taught me. Be kind, Heba. Forgive. Don’t gossip. Remember God when treating others…simply too many to list.
I remember the tears that you refused to shed when life just became too much. And how happy you were on my graduation day.
I remember your innate kindness, your generous soul, and how you can never hold a grudge against anyone.
I remember, mama. I remember it all. I remember it even if you are starting to forget.
I remember, mama..I remember how you were and still are my best friend. You are my confidant, therapist, teacher, and mother. You were always there, mama. I never felt alone with you by my side.
I am trying to hold on to those memories. To hold on to the person you have always been. Because as dementia takes bits and pieces of you every day, it keeps me sane. I love you to the earth and back, and I am struggling with your new persona – the dementia controlled character that is my mother.
You need care now. You need patience. You need peace. You need order. And most of all, you need love.
I pray to God, the Almighty, Merciful and most generous, that my sisters and I can give you all that, and more.
I love you, Mama.