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Remembering Rose

A Tribute to Alzheimer's Disease

My daughter. She has red hair and blue eyes. I call her Rose. She enjoys dancing and reading and playing the piano. She is 14 years old and full of life. High school is tough but she is tougher. Have a great day at school.

I love you Rose.

Rose. Her bins of clothes, shoes, and dormitory decorations fill the car. I hide tears behind my sunglasses. Bye Rose. I hope you continue dancing and reading and playing the piano. You’re 18 years old and still full of life. College will be tough but you are tougher. Have a great semester.

I love you Rose.

A beautiful white dress and a veil. A proud family. A handsome husband. My tears are messing up my makeup. Rose looks beautiful. It seems like just yesterday she was dancing and reading and playing the piano. He loves you Rose.

I love you Rose.

It’s Easter. July 4th. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. The family is together. My heart is so happy. Rose and her husband and her kids come to visit. They love grandma’s house. They love to dance and read and play on our old piano- just like Rose used to. They’re getting so big.

Life got crazy. Graduations. Birthdays Holidays. The phone rings. It’s Rose. She tells me yesterday was her 50th Birthday. Oh. I must have forgotten.

I’m sorry Rose.

The mirror in front of me shows me a face I don’t seem to recognize. I stare and stare and stare. Oh, it’s me. I am 85 years old. Sometimes it takes me a little longer to remember. The phone just rang. It was my daughter. My daughter. Who is my daughter? Oh yes.

I think I call her Rose.

People keep coming in and out of my house. They say they are nurses. I didn’t invite them here. They come every week. Today they brought medicine and balloons. It’s not my birthday. They tell me it is. I don’t even know these people. Who’s this one who isn’t dressed like a nurse? She sang Happy Birthday. She tells me her name is Rose.

That’s one of my favorite names.

I just woke up. This isn’t my bed. Maybe it is. I’m not sure. Who’s this girl sitting near me. I’m scared. She tells me she’s my daughter. I don’t have a daughter. She says that I know her. She says she is Rose. I don’t know a Rose. She says she loves to dance and read. She plays me a song on the piano. Is that my piano? Who is this woman? Why is she playing the piano? Is that my piano? She tells me her name is Rose.

Did you know that’s one of my favorite names?

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