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Monday, April 04, 2005

Moments to Remember

My wife and I looked after my mother until the onset of dementia necessitated her transfer from our mutual home to an institution where she lived for about three years before she finally died, aged 80. Friends and distant relatives would wring their hands and tell us how awful it must be for her and for us. The fact is, it was not as awful as you may think. Mother was always happy. She carried around the same Morris West novel for two years and read the same page each day and enjoyed it every day. You see, she lived only in the particular moment at hand. For her, there was no immediate past and no contemplation of the future. We could tell this from our conversations with her. On the other hand she had no trouble remembering events from her youth.

Now we have responsibility for my 88 year old cantankerous maiden aunt who suffers from moderately severe dementia and resides in a rest home. She likes Valentines and last year, along with other family members, we organised lunch there on her birthday. She had recently fallen and fractured her pelvis and was confined to a wheel chair. Incontinence added a further dimension so, as you can imagine, logistics were well planned.

We arrived and got everyone seated. The young waitress brought water and glasses to the table and my wife asked me if we should order wine. I filled all the water glasses, turned to Aunt ……… and asked “Would you like some wine?” Her eyes lit up and she said “Oh yes!” An above average Sauvignon was ordered and arrived without delay. When everyone had a full glass we sang Happy Birthday and waited for her to open her presents.

Aunt ………. picked up her water glass, took a sip and in her shrill loud voice, declared to the whole restaurant:

“This bloody wine tastes like water!”

Posted by Adolf Fiinkensein | 4/04/2005 09:25:00 AM