Thursday, 23 October 2014
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
He came in and sidled his way into our home without making a sound, our weekly get-together's interrupted, the sound of children's laughter and mum telling them to get their feet off the sofa.
In the beginning it was those little things that would make you stop and wonder, shuddering at the thought, we relaxed, everyone misplaces things don't they? The unwanted visitor waited, he sat down and ever so quietly made himself comfortable as he gazed at mum and plotted his moves, feet now under the table, he had found a new home.
He proceeded to gouge his way through her thoughts, and her memories, each day feasting on the laughter of her yesterdays. He drank up her conversations and put up his feet on her hopes and our dreams of tomorrow. Her desires faded, the days turned into months and then to years, she fought back, tried to give him her marching orders, but always taking, he never put back things as he found them, wandering in her mind from room to room taking those abilities learnt from childhood.
He snatched the names of her children and memories of our dad. It had been 24 years since he was taken from us - the stories she used to tell.... 'Mum, can you tell us the story of when you met, I so long to hear you share the excitement of meeting him, with a swing in your step and laughter in your voice......mum - do you still remember?
Finding it difficult to walk, she didn't want this, to be left feeling that she is a burden - how long will they care? Not knowing why you can't understand, listening as if behind a thickened glass door that won't break'. Sometimes I'll admit and cry out 'I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE', I am only human, you would too.
He sits in the corner, wiping his mouth with his sleeve thinking about his next course, the rest of her speech looks tasty, already had some for his starter, yet he is still not satisfied, it is not enough, when will it be enough?
Dementia is the unwanted guest in our house, the gatecrasher, giving us no choice in the matter. We have all been affected and relate to it in different ways, trying to come together as a family to support the one we loved and make her life the best it can be, despite the situation.
For now, recognise your circumstances for what they are, make room for changes that will take place and celebrate the life you have before you.