A Smile is Worth a Dozen Words

“I don’t know what to do.”

Little of what Mum says now makes any sense. When she does talk, much of what we hear seem to be made-up words. But there are phrases and sentences which, although they seem to bear no relation to what has gone before or what comes after, do “make sense”.

“It isn’t easy.”

“I want to go to my garden.”

I hesitate to try to interpret what’s going on for Mum by interrogating these fragments. I’ve long since learned that trying to make sense of dementia is a fruitless exercise. And yet, and yet, and yet. As we approach the end of this dementia journey, I want to know that Mum is at peace, that she isn’t distressed. But to spend too much time contemplating that is not a healthy pastime.

One thing I can be certain of, though, is that Mum is receiving the very best care. Her GP said as much when I spoke to him on Monday. She couldn’t be in a better place. Monday was a particularly sad day. I sat with Mum for two hours, during which time she barely opened her eyes and spoke but a handful of words. It gave me the opportunity to talk to her, to tell her much I love her and how grateful I am for all she has done for me over the past 52 years. And will continue to do. Spending this time with Mum, however painful some of it seems, has confirmed to me that her influence will live with me long after I’m no longer with her. There is comfort in that.

Mum was a little brighter when I visited yesterday, but it’s all relative these days. Still, as I left, telling her I loved her, her eyes opened and she smiled. Words might not make much sense, but smiles do.

 

 

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2 Responses to A Smile is Worth a Dozen Words

  1. Sue says:

    A lovely article Duncan. Thinking of you xx

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