I guess I never really saw the depth of the way mom has lived her life through the conviction of controlling her own thoughts. I am, for the first time in my life, really hearing or maybe I am, for the first time, sitting up and paying attention.
Of course as a child and through my entire life time mom has always been the fair one and that isn’t saying that others were not fair but that I am recalling the fact that she was balanced and fair in everything she did. She was always striving to make sure “it” was right by everyone. Everybody gets the same amount or the equal share or their turn. Even more important was that she didn’t want to place blame or accuse someone unjustly.
The reason for this post is that yesterday when I first arrived to visit mom I was signing in on the sign in book and I noticed that her husband had been there. I made a comment to the girl at the desk that went something like this; “Oh I see Charlie has been here today. It’s not his usual day, he usually comes every other day, so that’s good that he was here again today.” The girl said, Well maybe not so good, Charlie said that mom wouldn’t talk to him and was mad at him. The girl then said, “Maybe you’ll have better luck”. So, I commented “Oh that’s too bad, I’ll go see how she’s doing.”
So I went to mom’s room and she was lying on the bed, not asleep. She often just lays there and thinks. I laid my head on her shoulder and said, “I think I’ll take a nap with you.” She smiled and said “Ok, honey.” Then she started talking about how Charlie just leaves her there and she doesn’t know what to think about it. She says he just leaves her alone most of the time but that she knew he had been there but that he was gone now.
She goes on to explain that Charlie has things he needs to do and that she understands he needs to be busy and it’s good to be busy. She says that she doesn’t want to imagine things in her mind that aren’t true. She talked about that they have always had such a good marriage and that she doesn’t understand what has happened to change that. She thinks she has done something to cause him to leave her but she continued on to say that she can’t believe that he would leave her.
She also voiced that she had no money and that if her room wasn’t paid for then she would be out on the street. I assured her that I would never allow that to happen to her. And then, she said she believes that Charlie wouldn’t let that happen either. She says sometimes things happen in a marriage but that they have had a very good marriage. I also affirmed that Charlie would always make sure she was taken care of and she would not be left out on the street with no place to go. Mom likes to talk through how she wants to think when she is processing her thoughts and of course with dementia, things are repeated again and again.
And again she talks about how ones mind can make things up about another person and she doesn’t want to do that. We talked a bit more and she became reassured that all was well.
What is fascinating to me is that she is working out in her mind that she doesn’t want to make things up because she doesn’t know what is really happening and what Charlie is really doing. She says, it may be nothing and maybe everything is just fine and that she does not want to imagine something that is not true. She says he just has projects he is working on and it’s nothing to do with her or something she has done.
She is so strong and what incredible ability to continue to problem solve in a positive way even with her dementia mind.
“You cannot control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to what happens. In your response is your power.” – Author Unknown