I can still clearly recall the very first time my mother looked at me and realized that she had no idea who I was. Yes, it was awful, and yes, I wept for a very long time over the death of that loved one.
But now I’m about to say something that, depending on your expectations, could blow your mind.
When my mother could no longer recognize me, I felt more connected to her than I had in the past, when she still recognized who I was.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t come without a lot of crying, but finally I got to a point where it didn’t matter to me anymore. This didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t come without a lot of crying, however.
I finally gave up hoping that she would recognize me.
I gave up hoping that she would behave appropriately or express herself appropriately anymore.
I stopped concentrating on what it was that I need from her and started concentrating on what it was that I could provide for her instead.
I came to the realization that knowing someone’s name or remembering their face are not requirements for loving them.
It does not involve uttering the words “I love you” or even penning such words down in a greeting card.
It does not imply that they are aware of every single detail about you and all that you have ever accomplished in your whole life.
Over the course of the previous several years, my mother had forgotten my name but was aware of my existence.
She was unaware of our connection, but she was familiar with the tone of my voice.
She did not know my physical appearance, but she was familiar with my essence.
Even though she didn’t understand why, she felt cherished and protected while she was with me.
Love is not knowing who you are and accepting that. It comes down to knowing you.
Your beating heart. Your soul. Your presence. Your love.
I am aware that not everyone goes through the same thing, but if you are going through the difficulty of a loved one not knowing who you are, my hope is that you will face it with a love that is blind and obstinate, and that you will flat-out refuse to accept that your loved one does not know who you are.
Someone you care about is familiar with you.
And if you are willing to be open to it, I hope that you will see the same things that I have seen.