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As a mother fights Alzheimer’s, her children reflect on motherhood

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Is our mother still with us?

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. On her best days, she can manage whole sentences, though occasionally they’ll be in Arabic, her first language. Other times her words are mangled between what remains of her mind and her lips — or they’re lost altogether.

Our mother used to talk: Fast and loud, with a distinctive clipped cadence. She summoned so many words: Tender and withering and funny and angry and illuminating and painful and comforting. Our mother was fierce, a woman of unnatural will who withstood decades that should have broken her.

Her body has a mind of its own, separate and apart from the one ravaged by Alzheimer’s. It is defiant, unbowed after bearing six children and raising them alone, after countless beatings, after years on her feet working in factories and bars, after lying awake each night worrying about whether we had enough and who we’d become. Even at 84, her body continues its relentless march forward. Her brain hurtles in the opposite direction, the regressions cascading.

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A mother and daughter held hands recently during a visit.A mother and daughter held hands recently during a visit. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/08/metro/mother-fights-alzheimers-her-children-reflect-motherhood/

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