This is my deeply personal love story of an amazing woman who transformed from Mommy to Mom and back to Mommy. She was my Mommy as a young, impressionable child, my Mom throughout adulthood, and back to my Mommy because she stopped responding to Mom. I was paralyzed with fear that I would lose our sacred bond.
Oh, how I loved this woman, my mom. Her beauty was breathtaking. I was so blessed to have a mother who lovingly nurtured me through childhood and supported me through my journey as an entrepreneur. I did not know the latter would include me nurturing her through her journey of living with Alzheimer’s.
An absolute fashionista, she always had a wonderful collection of handbags for all occasions. I would also buy them as gifts for her. As my career evolved into handbag design/manufacturing, my mom had to have whatever I created and insisted on paying full price. “You’re running a business”, she would say.
As my mom’s caregiver, I witnessed how the purpose of her handbag changed as the disease progressed. She used to pridefully carry it everywhere because after all, a woman should always have her purse. Ultimately, it was reduced to a simple structure to hold all her possessions because she had to pack and go home. As the disease progressed, she lost the connection to her handbags, not even a passing thought.
As I observed her bravely journeying through Alzheimer’s, the seed was planted in my heart to co-create a handbag with my mom. Through her blissful moments of clarity, her primary desires were expressed. Combined with my observations of how this handbag could function for her, a beautiful vision was born.
My mom’s favorite color and flower.
Yellow roses are a symbol of friendship and caring.