MomDad2The other day my mom turned to me and said “And who are you?”

It was a first on the long road of dementia or Alzheimer’s or whatever it is that’s been taking my mom for the past 10 years or so. You would think it would have been like a knife in my heart — my mom has finally gotten to the point where she doesn’t really know who I am — but it wasn’t.

Over the past few years I’ve been building up my armor to protect myself from this. Mom is still here with us, but she’s not. Very slowly she left. She still looks like my mom — a beautiful woman with stunning white hair, blue eyes, a warm smile and giving heart. But when I look in those eyes, I can tell she’s not there.

And when I told her the other day that I was her youngest, her baby, her last-born child, she just smiled and said “of course.”

But I could tell in her eyes that she didn’t know me. She just had no idea.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 15, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.