Mother’s Day Joy

“A-ha!” Mom exclaims as she gives the Mylar smiley-face balloon a poke. Back it floats, as she lets out a triumphant chuckle.

Up he comes again. “Umph!” she says, poking him away.  She shakes her head and grins as Smiley floats back into her reach.

Dad is sitting across from us.  His smile is the biggest I’ve seen in years. 

“Take that!” Mom gives Smiley another playful poke. Her grin erupts into a smile as he returns, as if asking her to keep the game going.

By now, Dad is laughing out loud.  Mom obliges him, and for his amusement she keeps Smiley dancing.

I hand Dad my phone and give him a brief camera lesson.  He fiddles with it, while Mom and I give Smiley a real workout.


I exhale and smile.  Today, this one time,  I chose the perfect Mother’s Day gift.  Perfect for my Mom.  Perfect for how she is today. Perfect for Mom’s first Mother’s Day in the Memory Cottage.

I find myself feeling thankful for creating this moment of joy for all of us.  I lean in and give Mom a kiss.


Life with an Alzheimer’s Loved One brings so many moments.  When you are blessed with a great one, try to remember to pause, notice and give thanks.

If you are struggling for a gift idea for your Alzheimer’s Loved One, consider bringing something playful and fun.  A good laugh can work miracles.   Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia by Jolene Brackey is super resource for ideas.

7 Replies to “Mother’s Day Joy”

  1. I am in the dentist office waiting room as my son gets work done. Thank goodness or I’d be bawling….you are one amazing daughter who took on a mothering role…happy mother’s day to you, barb!!!

  2. I am so glad this story touched your heart, Karen. Thank you for your kind words!


    Barbara Ivey

  3. We all could use a smiley-faced balloon these days. This pic is a real treasure of love. Barbara, you are an inspiration. Mom’s everywhere will celebrate.

  4. Thank you so much, Barney. When we give gifts, we often want to give something that lasts, something that makes a big impression For advanced Alzheimer’s Loved Ones like my Mom, a gift of joy, right now was much more appreciated. With the balloon gift Mom could play with it, hide it, lose it, give it away – whatever. It was all ok. Win win win!

  5. Living in the moment…love it Barbara! Blessings to you and the memory of your incredible mother!

    1. Absolutely right, Gary! Looking back, I think the hurdle was in accepting that one balloon was a sufficient gift. All the Mother’s Day advertisements for diamonds and fancy lunches kept me thinking Mom’s gift ought to be bigger to be better. Accepting that on this particular Mother’s Day the kindest gift was something to bring her laughter – that was my journey in this story.

      Thank you for YOUR partnership in a cure for Alzheimer’s through #CARTFUND Gary Everhart!



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