A Better Tomorrow

Last night, I peeked in on my mom and she was dozing, the television blaring in the background. I went to her bedside, started to click off the lamp, and she opened her eyes. I wasn’t sure if I would find her still agitated and angry as she had been most of the evening. I  leaned close and asked if she was ready to go to sleep. She nodded, but did not speak. I took out her hearing aid and put it in its case; kissed my mom on the cheek; told her goodnight.

I clicked off the light and eased into my bed — a twin daybed where I have slept for the past 22 months so I can help my mom without padding across the house in the dark. My mom and I are roommates these days, like college coeds thrust together by fate and circumstance.

Across the shadowy room, I hear my mom’s voice. It isn’t uncommon for her to speak out loud. She often has conversations with herself or someone she used to know. I roll over, listening, straining to hear her words above the whir of the fan. My mom is having a conversation with God. Her message is simple: “I am sorry I was mean tonight, dear God. Please forgive me. I’ll try to do better tomorrow. Amen.”

After all these years, even in the muddle of mental illness, my mom is teaching me life lessons I need to learn. Even in her confusion, my mom has moments of clarity and amazing lucidity. With her simple prayer, my mama reminds me that we all falter, we all make mistakes. We all have days we wish we could take back; Moments when we know better, but do it anyway. Sometimes we hurt people with what we say or do. Wicked words wound like jagged shards. But even with our human failings and shortcomings, my mom reminds me that, most days, most of us are doing the best we can.

With God’s grace, we’ll all get another chance, another day, to get it right. Like my sweet mom, I’ll try to do better tomorrow.Image



About barriepagehill

A former print and broadcast reporter, I am blogging to document my experience as primary caregiver to my mom, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. I find writing cathartic and find it helps me order some of the chaos of my cluttered life. My writing is reflective of my experiences with my mom and matters I find important as I navigate the New Normal of living with a family member tormented by this devastating disease. As my mom's condition worsens, I am grateful for the many blessings in my life. I hope my writing chronicles some of our experiences and documents this bittersweet journey.
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10 Responses to A Better Tomorrow

  1. Karen says:

    My mom use to call me (in the earlier stages) and apologize for being so mean. Later, well, I won’t rehash that… Love your writing…

    • Karen, you have walked this path and I know have plenty of stories of your own. I appreciate your advice, support and friendship. Thank you for holding my hand and for understanding how hard this is to lose someone you love a little at a time.

  2. Steph Kelch says:

    This touches my heart. God Bless you.

  3. Thank you for blessing me with your writing this morning. I am certain your blog will bless many others as it helps you through these difficult days. My love, prayers, and thanks, Jane

  4. Penny James says:


  5. You are a beautiful daughter, an amazing mother, and I so admire you.

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