Limited Vocabulary-Unlimited Love

a woman smiling
Written by
Kristen Sachs
Content via AbleThrive Original
AbleThrive Original
Written by
Kristen Sachs

“Today is Okay, Tomorrow we don’t know.” This is the seven-word motto developed by Betty after she experienced a brain aneurism, stroke, and paralysis. Betty’s daughter Martha shares her mother’s journey.

Martha and her younger sister became the primary caregivers for their mother. Their three older sisters were married with their own families, and their father worked long hours. Martha had to learn quickly how to care for her mother while simultaneously dealing with grief over how much her mother had changed, and how this affected the family dynamics.

One example of that change was the way her mother communicated following her stroke. “She came out of the surgery with only two words left: “Yes” for yes, and “Weeelll,” for no,” explains Martha. Eventually Betty developed a few additional phrases that the family learned to interpret, like “It don’t care” for “It doesn’t matter.” All in all, her vocabulary consisted of about 30 words.

Even with a limited vocabulary and limited use of her limbs, Betty was “an incredible mother,” Martha shares. “We realized early on that she didn’t really need words for mothering. When I walked into a room, her face would light up. When I had a problem, she would listen. Her left arm could still hug me really tight.”

Transitioning through a life-changing injury is a difficult road. Watch the video below that Martha created to document her mother’s stroke, paralysis, and determination to continue onward.


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