The Other Woman

I spent last summer with my mother. On the surface it was picture-perfect: ice cream cones and beach picnics. But, like the rest of our caregiving journey, the outsides don’t match the insides.

Autumn arrived in vibrant red and gold, signaling my departure — another two-month hop between coasts and families. I realized I couldn’t leave mom alone; the relentlessness of Alzheimer’s was deeply rooted in our lives.

We needed a paid caregiver.

At first, Mom insisted she could take care of herself. And I felt guilty for leaving, yet curiously jealous. What if mom liked her more? What if she was a better caregiver?

Hiring Amanda turned out to be the best thing we’ve done yet. She’s unflappable. Tireless. Patient. We celebrate small victories, chronicled in the purple ink of her daily log. She teaches me to stay positive. And she’s given us true peace of mind.