When Christine Stone found out she was pregnant with a baby girl in January, she couldn’t wait to tell everyone the joyous news.
But there’s one family member she has told hundreds of times since — her mother, Setsuko Harmon, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago.
“I can tell her and two to five minutes later she won’t remember,” Stone, 38, tells PEOPLE. “It’s like watching a kid at Christmas wake up and see his presents over and over again, because each time she gets so excited.”
Stone filmed a handful of the moments where she reveals the news to her 77-year-old mom and compiled them into a video.
“I want to bring awareness to this disease,” she says. “Yes, it’s sweet seeing my mom get so excited over and over again, but it’s so sad at the same time.”
Stone — an office manager in Florence, South Carolina — says it has been extremely difficult watching her mother’s disease progress over the years.
“She remembers long-term things, but her short-term is really affected,” she explains. “But when I give her the pregnancy news she claps and smiles each time and asks which month the baby is due.
“It’s very bittersweet.”
Stone and her husband, Brad, got married five years ago and had always wanted a baby.
“When we got pregnant I was just so ecstatic,” she recalls. “We waited to tell people until I was about 12 weeks, and the first people we told were our parents.”
But Stone knew she wouldn’t just be sharing the news with her mother once.
“It’s hard,” says Stone. “But she still knows me and my dad, and I’m so thankful for that.”
Harmon’s husband, Bob, became her full-time caretaker after she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer three years ago. She was given six months to live and put on chemo only to “improve her quality of life.”
“Because of her failing memory, she had no idea what was going on,” Stone says of her mom. “She knew she didn’t feel good and that she was losing her hair, but she didn’t understand that she was sick because of the Alzheimer’s.
“And I actually think that really helped her recover, because she just always had such a good attitude and was smiling like nothing was wrong — because to her it wasn’t.”
Harmon was declared “cancer free” a little over a year ago.
Stone says her doting father hardly ever leaves her mother’s side.
“They are still very much in love,” she says of her parents. “So it’s been really hard on my dad to see her when she puts things from the refrigerator into cabinets and they spoil or she pulls open every drawer in the house.
“But our baby news is bringing them so much joy.”
Stone can’t wait for her mom to meet her daughter when she’s born.
“I expect her not to remember her, but I know when my mom meets my daughter she’s going to get excited every single time,” she says. “It’s sad, but it’s not sad, because she will be just as excited to meet her over and over again.”