By Mary Edwards-Olson
I wrote When the Sun Shines Through because of my personal journey. I was a caregiver for my mother and watched first hand as Alzheimer's slowly stole her from us.
My mother, Elizabeth Edwards, lost her fight with Alzheimer's on October 23, 2017.
Caring for my mother was a roller coaster of emotions. You go from crying so hard that every inch of your body aches, to being so overwhelmed with joy when a piece of them perks through the mask of Alzheimer's. I was ignorant to this disease and its cruelty until I watched it slowly take my mother, piece by piece. It was hard as a caretaker to understand that Mom wasn't Mom anymore in terms of behavior. There were days I thought she was being lazy or difficult on purpose and I would get so upset. It breaks my heart I ever thought that. It was the disease, in those moments. Please remember it's the disease. Your loved one is in there, scared and confused. Show compassion and remember to take time for yourself. As a caregiver, we often take a back seat, but remember your loved one needs you to be happy, and emotionally and physically healthy. They may not express it but they understand.