LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)– Linda Wilson loves and cares for her mother, like most do. Most days her mother doesn’t know it.
“She says where is Linda? And I’m right there holding her hand,” Wilson says.
Linda’s mother, Florence, has dementia. Linda says it’s hard to understand unless people knew Florence before the disease took over.
“She grew up in a small town in Bath County. She was born poor, but they were rich in many ways. She had one of the most animated personalities,” Linda says of her mother.
As her mother’s illness grew worth, the family eventually moved her into a nursing home. That’s where Linda’s care really became so important. She visits every day, even doing it through a window during Covid-19.
“I had to be innovative because I can’t go into the nursing home. So, now I go every day or my sister does. And I say push her to the window and so that’s what we do now,” Linda describes.
Maybe even more important was Linda becoming an advocate for her mother, making sure she gets the things she needs, even if it’s just a cold beer.
“She loved her Miller Lite. She’d put them in the freezer, let a little ice get on them. She’d put a little salt on them. And she’d say bring me a cold ‘bur’, because it wasn’t beer, it was ‘bur’. I recently signed something the other day so she could have a cold beer. It’s about what makes her happy,” Wilson smiled.
Florence doesn’t know Linda is doing these things. Most days she doesn’t even recognize her, but Linda says it doesn’t matter.
“Our mother provided for us. Our mother had probably a seventh grade education, but her and her sisters are some of the most intelligent people I know and it’s respectful, she’s my queen,” Wilson says proudly.
Linda says she knows she’s not alone. So many people are in her same situation. And she has a message for others struggling.
“Stop feeling guilty, and they won’t. But when you’ve exhausted and done everything for that loved one, it’s what needs to happen. For their safety. I cry when I pull up, and I cry when I leave,” Linda advises.
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