Take a Moment to Appreciate Your Brain

Forgetfulness is a form of freedom. Kahill Gibran, Lebanese-American writer, poet.

How often do we say, I forgot….the keys, the sweater, the name, the birthday, the number? For most of us of a certain age, some forgetfulness is routine. But what about those whose past has slipped away, those whose last five minutes are gone? 

As I interviewed daughters for my book on mother loss, I found it particularly heart-rending when I talked to daughters who are losing or have lost their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease. One woman said, “My mother is lost but not gone.” This mother has forgotten her daughter and everyone else who was important to her yet she is still alive and may live for many more years. One daughter’s story exemplified Gibran’s quote. She said, “My mother used to have great anxiety and worry. As a result, she was often angry and depressed. Now, because of her dementia, she is free of worry and is experiencing joy.” This daughter knows her mother’s situation will worsen but in the meantime she is embracing the moment.

Perhaps you have lost or are losing your mother or other loved one to this terrible disease. I can’t imagine what pain you’re experiencing but I can stand beside you and support you through it.

Affirmation: My brain is alive and well.

Coaching question: What does your ability to think, remember, reason mean to you? Don’t take it for granted, be grateful.

Mom’s Cooking

The smell of slow cooking spread around the house and impart a unique warmth matched only by the flavor of the food. Yotam Ottolenghi, chef restaurant owner, food writer

I’m hosting my cooking group for lunch today. As a member of Smoking Pots (makes you smile…right?), I’m responsible for one project per year. With Mother’s Day around the corner and my head steeped in motherloss via this blog and a book, I decided to have folks bring a favorite dish their mom or grandmother made along with the story and recipe.

I made pressed chicken, a chicken and plain gelatin concoction that tastes better than it sounds and is beautiful. Once inverted, it has a design of lemon slices, pimento and green olive slices on the bottom (top). I vaguely remember my mom making it for her bridge club and years ago I used to make it for summer lunches. It was fun to recreate.

Affirmation: My cooking spreads love.

Coaching questions: What do you remember of your mother’s cooking? What was your favorite dish as a child? How have you created memories for your family?