In the last year of my mother’s life she developed intermittent dementia. Kind of like a nosy neighbor who just shows up when you least expect them, or want them. She often told me about “The other Breeda.” I then would ask her for the inside scoop on what this awful woman was doing. Mom would tell me that Breeda #2 would make her take this terrible medicine and that she wouldn’t let her have a cup of tea or coffee in the middle of the night. I would sympathize and comfort her and tell her not to worry, I would take care of that Breeda for her.

I had an office in my home and worked on my computer and phone throughout the day. Mom’s room was very near and she would call me if she needed the TV turned off or a fresh cup of tea or whatever. One day she called out to me, I popped my head in the doorway. She looked up from her wing-back chair, pointed her finger and commanded, “I need to talk to both Breeda’s and I want you both in here right now so I don’t have to repeat myself.” She was very serious. So, I entered her room and tried to explain that I was here and that she knew there was only one Breeda, right? She looked at me like I was trying to pull a fast one on her and shook her head. So I played along and left the room, grabbed a scarf and a sweater in an attempt to change my appearance a bit, and rejoined her. She looked at me, wrinkled her nose, and repeated her request for the two of us to be present. Then she stated, “Oh is she too busy on her computer to come in and talk to me?” I smiled, gave her a hug, and sat down on the bed and just asked what was on her mind. Gotta love a feisty old lady!

About Breeda Miller

Breeda Miller works with organizations to support professional and family caregivers. Her self-care strategies help caregivers care better for others, reduce stress and burnout. A professional speaker, award winning author and family caregiver, Breeda cared for her own mother for 8 years including hospice care. Connect via email: [email protected] or


  1. beth kennedy on July 11, 2014 at 3:31 am

    i love this and hope the other breeda doesn’t read it!

    • Breeda Miller on July 16, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Thanks Beth – I have to keep a close eye on The Other Breeda…

  2. Deborah on July 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Oh, I can relate. My mom’s alternating between moderate and at times more advanced Alzheimer’s. Yet she can be the sweetest person ever to all around her. Good to know the other Breeda was manageable by this one who wrote a lovely post. Cheers to your time with your mom. Precious, good times, it would seem, helped by your humor!

    • Breeda Miller on July 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Deb – Selective memory helps and I focus on the good memories.

Leave a Comment