Throughout her life, Martha had navigated through a world of bricks, mortar, and contracts. She had known properties better than people, the intricacies of real estate better than the labyrinth of human emotions. In the midst of her 66th year, however, she was being forced to learn an entirely different kind of transaction.
Martha’s mother, a proud woman who had always carried herself with a steely, unyielding gaze, was now retreating into the unsettling fog of Alzheimer’s.
As a child, Martha had yearned for her mother’s affection, only to be met with cool indifference. Her mother was a narcissist, a demanding beacon in Martha’s life that overshadowed her every accomplishment, stunted her joy, and blurred her self-worth.
One day, as the autumn leaves began to cast their ember hues, Martha visited her mother, her heart heavy with unspoken words. For the first time, her mother looked at her, truly looked at her, and said, “I’m so proud of you, Martha.”
The sincerity of those words stripped away the façade her mother had worn for decades, revealing a vulnerability Martha had never seen.
That was the beginning.
Every day after that, her mother’s memory peeled away like aged wallpaper, her strong, assertive personality crumbling into fragments of forgotten years.
The woman who had once towered over her existence was now a small, scared figure in the labyrinth of her own mind.
And yet, amid the heartbreaking decay, there were tender moments of connection, moments that Martha had been craving all her life.
Her mother would often forget her name, but remember her laughter. She’d forget the harsh words she’d once spoken but remember the comforting lullabies she’d sung to Martha as a baby.
In the maelstrom of fading memories, Martha finally found the mother she had always longed for. Her eyes would shine with soft affection, her hands would reach out to hold Martha’s with a tenderness she had never known.
In the stark reality of her mother’s decline, Martha was drowning in a sea of sorrow, watching the woman who gave her life slowly slipping away.
But within this sea, she was also finding islands of love, tiny moments of compassion that had been missing from her existence.
The tragedy of her mother’s Alzheimer’s, though cruel and relentless, was also providing Martha with an unexpected gift—the gift of a mother’s love, however fleeting.
The real estate market may have taught her the value of properties, but her mother, in her tragic decline, was teaching her the true value of memories, love, and time.
As she navigated this painful new journey, Martha was coming to understand that some transactions were far more significant than those of bricks and mortar.
For every day that she lost a piece of her mother, she gained a piece of the love she’d always yearned for—a love that had been hidden away, only to be found in the fog of forgetting.