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Column: Dementia is a place where my mother lives
A beautiful write up by the daughter of a PWD who is in end stages titled "Dementia Is A Place Where My Mother Lives. It's Not Who She Is." It really struck me, having been through the end of my mother's life a few months ago. For those of you who had a good relationship with your mom this will be a heart-warming read on this Mothers Day.
My mother has taken all the essentials with her to Dementia. Her eyes are hers and her lustrous white hair. Her spirit is still elegant. If she doesn’t hear you, she’ll say, “I beg your pardon?” in the same lilting, gracious tone she used throughout her life. Somewhere inside lies a sacred core, untouched, an essence patrolled by sentinels of light. And if that’s true for her, it’s true for everyone. Living in Dementia isn’t the defining chapter of her life. The terrain here runs inexorably and swiftly downhill, but for my mother, this seems only to make her hair fly behind her like a commemorative flag. She remains mostly cheerful, herself. I take notes, for when my own demise comes. This is how it’s done.There is dignity in Dementia if we say there is. There is wisdom and humor and radiance if only we can see it. I make the effort because my mother does and because it is what she deserves after a long life well lived, harming no one. I am astonished by her courage, even now. Especially now. My therapist, Claudia, says that my mother is making me stronger, through endurance, as I bear witness to the end of her life. But I think she is handing over her strength, piece by piece, to me.
Dear Chickadee, thank you for posting this.
I think of you often and hope you are well.
I love this, thanks for sharing. My FIL is very southern and I love his responses. It is never “yes and no”, it is “I reckon I could”, “I might could do that”, or “I’d rather not”. Sometimes when someone is leaving he will say, “Thanks for stopping by”.
So sweet, and so very much his personality still peeking through. About once a week we still see some of his dry wit - like at least once a week while we are wheeling him to the bedroom, he puts his feet down as brakes, and DH says “Dad, I think you are giving me a hard time” to which my FIL chuckles and says “Yep”. Every night when we are getting him in his onsie, DH and I are on either side make a game over who can get the leg on and the arm on first. My FIL helps me win every time and thinks it’s all funny.
I cherish that.