‘OOH, THAT’S WONDERFUL’

By June 19, 2018Longevity

“Does she know what she’s having?” Mom asks.

“Yes. A girl,” I say.

Ooh, that’s wonderful! All the other great-grandkids are boys,” she says with a big smile.

“That’s right. Everyone is very excited,” I say.

A few minutes pass.

“Does she know what she’s having?” Mom asks.

“Yes. A girl,” I say.

Ooh, that’s wonderful! All the other great-grandkids are boys,” she says with a big smile.

“That’s right. Everyone is very excited,” I say.

A couple more minutes pass.

“Does she know what she’s having?” Mom asks.

“Yes. A girl,” I say.

Ooh, that’s wonderful. All the other great-grandkids are boys,” she says with a big smile.

“That’s right. Everyone is very excited,” I say and determine it’s time to redirect the conversation.

If possible for a moment to set aside the heartbreak of witnessing a loved one go down this rabbit hole of cognitive decline, it is fascinating to consider the randomness of memory.

For some individuals with dementia, there is a healthy reservoir of personal and practical history that’s still accessible. And for a few their compromised brain even manages on occasion to make room for additional thoughts and actions. Mostly, conversations are like watching someone fish and catch and release over and over. Fortunately, the brain graciously reconciles such inconsistencies and makes the most of the new reality.

The upside, a sort of guilty pleasure, Mom is so happy each and every time I tell her she’s getting her first great-granddaughter.

3 Comments

  • Kathy says:

    This touched my heart (for several reasons), but reminded me so of my own mother. She (we) suffered dementia for over 12 years. She had a love for plants and gardening. An often repeated phrase of hers was ” look at those beautiful trees!” whenever we were on a neighborhood walk or drive through the countryside. She loved quaking Aspen. Strangely enough, it was the last thing she said just before the accident that took her life. It’s a phrase I still think of often.

    • Thanks for sharing, Kathy. I agree. It is incomprehensible and remarkable to witness the inner-workings of uninhibited mind — similar to how children learn to process and appreciate the world around them.

  • Gary says:

    I love it. Seeing a positive in such a negative is a wonderful thing. It also shows great patience on your part.

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