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  • What Mary learned about our need to live a life filled with love at any time of life
  • Shifting from long-distance to local caregiving
  • Realizing the reality, dread, sadness, and responsibility of what was ahead
  • Raising children to thrive while watching a parent decline
  • How the emotional process of her mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis was different than her dad's Cancer
  • What she wishes she had done more of when caring for her mom
  • Finding ways to connect with a person in the late stages of dementia
  • Ways of dealing with losing a parent
  • Hitting a wall due to the stress and loss of connection of caring for a person living with dementia
  • Control as a coping mechanism
  • The Clicker! And how Mary channeled her inner MacGyver with Krazy Glue, wires, clamps and batteries
  • Involving her school-aged children in the care of her mom
  • Stepping into her mom's reality
  • Legal guardianship
  • Feeling resentment and losing it after finding support 
  • Delayed grief and the surprising moment that let the emotional floodgates open
  • Retrospectively taking stock of caregiving accomplishments
  • How memories of her mom have shifted two years after her death


In AFTER THOUGHTS Colleen shares her feelings for Mary and her mother because of the important roles they played in her life and the life of her father. And then she shares her thoughts on love as it relates to persons living with dementia. 



We all want that feeling of being loved and wanted and needed and seen and looked for.
— Mary Dowling
You will survive.
— Mary Dowling
If you try to pretend like you can do it all and it’s effortless and you’re so on top of it and you’ve got it all together, you’re going to crash and burn.
— Mary Dowling




Mary is living a private life off the grid. If you'd like to get in touch with her, contact Colleen below and she'll be happy to connect you. 

The "Bobbin For Apples Pudding Cake"

The "Bobbin For Apples Pudding Cake"




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