My mom, who made me bookish, is about six years old right now. About a year ago she knew who Shakepeare was. Today she can’t remember where she went an hour ago. Alas, she can’t read, as she always used to do. Her house is filled with books.
I worked with a woman with dementia several years ago when I worked for a company called Barton’s Angels, and the owner, Nancy Barton Whitley, taught me an important lesson. She and I took this client, was completely disoriented, to a gathering at Nancy’s house, and she was the life of the party! She had a swell time, and so did everyone else.
She didn’t have to remember anyone or anything.
It’s a very sad thing that my mom is going back in time, but there’s no time right now to think about how sad that is. On the flip side, she’s six years old and I can make her happy every day.
I’m going to have some parties. Mom’s still great at making friends.
Here’s a little ironic twist: I have this old mirror at my house and I kept thinking I would stencil on it those lines from T. S. Eliot: “There will be time/ There will be time/ To prepare a face/ To meet the faces that you meet,” and give it to my mom for the upstairs bathroom in the old house.
Wouldn’t that be cool, on a mirror? I knew my mom would love it, being a teacher of literature. But I never got around to it.
So I guess the lesson is: don’t postpone those home handicraft projects; you never know when they’ll become moot.