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Remembering Ms. Rock: Lessons in Love and Resilience

Updated: Jun 5

Momma - Ms. Rock
Momma - Ms. Rock

My brother Greg’s friend affectionately nicknamed our mother “Ms. Rock” for her resilience. He admired her kind heart paired with a steadfast conviction. Momma was loving and courageous but also bold in her decisions, disciplining us firmly, yet lovingly. She was generous in spirit, always giving more than she received. To her, friends were family, and many saw her as a second mother or grandmother.

Family Gathering
Family & Friends Gathering Together

Even before her Alzheimer's diagnosis, Momma's home was a hub of warmth. Neighbors and friends, old and new, would flock to our home, drawn by her hospitality. She never let anyone leave hungry, often feeding guests even if they initially refused. Visitors would sit for hours, share stories, and laugh until their bellies shook and heads tilted backward. You could feel the love! Her house was filled with laughter, stories, and an undeniable sense of community. 

Momma's Cooking
Momma's Delicious Meals

Momma Out and About
Momma Out and About

Despite Alzheimer’s gradually impacting her memory, Momma continued to spread joy and embody the mantra of "Empowerment over Fear," a mission promoted by Alzheimer’s for All. She approached her illness with a grace that made caregiving seem effortless. Days might be punctuated by silence or the background hum of a radio, but they were also filled with small joys, like a hummingbird visiting the porch feeder.

As Alzheimer’s erased her memories, the love she radiated only seemed to grow, making her final days profoundly impactful. Momma faced Alzheimer's with dignity, always trying to assist around the house in her own ways, no matter how small or quirky the task. From positioning a pillow peculiarly on the bed to diligently wiping a table corner with a crumpled napkin, I cherish these tender moments.  

For those on a similar journey, cherish the small moments. Embrace imperfections and remain flexible. It's essential to have a strong support network and maintain open communication. You don’t have to face everything alone—help and heartfelt conversations can be your anchors.

Family Reunion
Momma at the Kiser Family Reunion

I will always treasure the last six weeks with Momma, the smiles and groans alike. Although bittersweet, these memories are precious and continue to inspire me. I am committed to sharing our story and promoting Alzheimer’s awareness because every moment matters in this fight.

Sandra Kiser
Sandra Kiser

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