Clare Crawley Reunites with Mom — Who Battles Alzheimer's — After Being Apart amid COVID: 'Her Mind Is Slipping Away'
Clare Crawley is soaking up every precious moment she gets with her mother, Lilia.
After being apart amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Bachelorette star was finally able to reunite with her mom, who battles Alzheimer's disease and dementia and lives in a care facility.
"I'm so thankful to be able to see my mom in person now," Crawley, 39, captioned an Instagram photo of her holding her mom's hand on Thursday.
"I get so emotional because this time is precious and I know means everything to both of us, especially as her mind is slipping away and her body is getting weaker," she shared.
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To brighten their moments together, "I try and sing and laugh to add a little sunshine to her day, even if it's only for the 20 minutes they allow," said the bride-to-be, who is engaged to Dale Moss. "I love it."
The former Bachelorette went on to share that Lilia grabbed her hand and sweetly squeezed it during their visit, knowing that her daughter was having a difficult day.
"She has good days and bad, Just like we all do. Well today I couldn't hide my hard day. A mother always knows," continued Crawley. "Without saying a word, she reached in her pocket and pulled out this tissue and just squeezed my hand. ❤️"
In May, Crawley reflected on the moment she got to hug her mother for the last time before the quarantine lockdown began.
"This was the last time I got to hug my mom before quarantine. She had fallen and split her nose open + had two black eyes, and I think I slept a total of 2 hours because I was so worried about her," Crawley wrote alongside a snap of her and her mom sharing an embrace. "But you wouldn't be able to tell any of that, because we were so happy just to be able to spend time together!"
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She said about their time together: "Memories like this matter the most to me!❤️Love heals."
In October, fans finally got to see Crawley begin her Bachelorette journey, which came after a months-long delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.
In March, a stay-at-home order was issued in California, grinding Crawley's plans to an abrupt halt. She documented her lonely social distancing, including the challenges of not being able to visit Lilia. At last, in June, Crawley got the call that production would be starting back up.
Her time on the ABC reality series was short-lived, though, as she quickly found love with Moss, a sports consultant from New York.
From the first night of her season, viewers saw an instant spark between Crawley and Moss. After attempting to get to know the other men, she ultimately decided she wanted to cut the experience short to be with Moss and accepted his proposal during episode four.
And despite the quick timeline, Crawley recently told PEOPLE she is exactly where she wants to be. "This is the happiest time in my life," she said. "Everything [since] has been even more reaffirming of why I chose him."
Earlier this week, Moss revealed that, after being nominated for The Bachelorette, he wasn't convinced to accept his spot until Crawley had been announced as the leading lady.
"Now, I could have never planned what happened because I was nominated," the former NFL player said on an episode of the podcast Raising the Bar with Alli and Adrian. "I never actually signed up. And I turned it down over, and over, and over again. And I actually finally committed to it four days before everyone was supposed to leave for the show. And the only reason I committed to it was because Clare was announced as Bachelorette at that time."
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