Alzheimer’s is often a lesson in allowing.

Allowing has many layers, many iterations, many implications, and I could write a big, fat series on it just as it relates to Alzheimer’s and caregiving. But I’ll just leave it here: the sooner you let go of how you wish things were and embrace the imperfections of how things are, the sooner you start allowing for the moment you’re in, the sooner you’ll find peace.

Mom gave me many lessons in allowing, and I’m a better person for it.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.
Mom working

I don’t care.

The dishes. You have to watch her. She forgets to use soap. Or sometimes, she doesn’t rinse it off.

I don’t care.

Are you sure about that? She’ll probably pull up the flowers too.

I don’t care.

I’d be careful about that. What if she paints the wrong thing?

You know what? She did. And I.don’

She did it wrong. We looked up, and the floor and railing close to the column were yellow. She had painted beyond the column.

I don’t care.

When I checked on her in the flower bed where she was busily pulling weeds, sure enough, some flowers had come up with the weeds.

I don’t care.

And my dishes. So what!?

If I can create for her even the tiniest opening into a world of doing, contributing, helping, if going there brings her a moment of joy —a fraction of a moment!—, I don’t care if she can’t do the thing perfectly. I don’t care if she gets it all wrong.

The tiny inconveniences of re-rinsing dishes, rescuing flowers, removing errant paint? I don’t care. These are the biggest ways to love her now.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2021.

For more stories about mom’s journey with Alzheimer’s explore my website.