Seeing a loved one sink deeper into the stages of Alzheimer’s disease is probably one of the hardest things to witness. For good reason, it is terrible to have a parent or grandparent no longer recognize you after spending years together and once it has its grip on your family the disease doesn’t miraculously turn around and get better, victims don’t suddenly recognize a face or a name. Some say it is the saddest thing to experience.
While we know the downside of the disease and how it can affect the family members of the patient, it can also bring repeated joy to the actual patient.
When Christine Stone’s 77-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s, so when Stone found out that she was pregnant with a baby girl, she was somewhat sad that her mother would never really know her granddaughter. But, instead of not knowing her granddaughter, Setsuko Harmon has gotten to meet her several times over again. Because she doesn’t have a short-term memory, Harmon feels as if she is meeting her granddaughter, Sadie, for the first time, everytime she is introduced to her. And the moment was caught on film.
At first, Stone just wanted to take a video of her mother meeting Sadie so she could show it to Sadie when she was older. Her intentions were to keep the video within the family, but once she convinced her father that the video may help bring awareness to the disease, she shared it with the world.
The video starts out showing Stone introducing Sadie Mae to Harmon for the first time in the hospital. And then, a little later, Harmon is delighted to meet the baby again for the first time. She is then seen meeting baby Sadie again for the first time at her home. At one point while she is holding Sadie she looks up at her daughter and says, “You said this is who’s baby again?”
Stone has to explain to her mother that Sadie is her granddaughter several times. And her mother goes on to tell Stone that she is lucky to have such a cute baby.
“My mom loves her,” said Stone. “She was here for Thanksgiving and she said, ‘Why can’t I take the baby? I want to take her home?’ It’s put some pep in her step. But her short-term memory is gone. Every time I say, ‘Meet your granddaughter, Sadie,’ she’ll forget whose baby it is again five minutes later. She gets so excited all over again. “
“The original video I made so Sadie would be able to see how much her grandmother loved her and how excited she was for her to arrive,” explained Stone. “Originally, I filmed it just for us, because the likelihood of my mom still being around when my daughter is 18 is slim to none.”
While it is terribly sad to see Harmon suffering from memory loss, it is somewhat uplifting to see her delighted every time she meets her new granddaughter.
Hopefully, this video is bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s disease.