After nine months, everyone around Dorothy knows her, the residents, the resident’s family, the nurses, the staff-even some of the movers – who are constantly moving people in and out. She is in a fun, safe environment.
She has settled in-she has her group of friends, she laughs, she is helpful to those who need her. Her friends are easy going with her and they seem to overlook the forgetfulness- or they all have the same problems and it doesn’t matter. She goes to morning exercise class-sits in on the fireside chats-attends the current events circle -goes to color time- she is engaged. But, she doesn’t remember any of it. The interesting thing is – she does not want us to know she is enjoying herself.
I was there this past Friday to pick her up for “our Friday” and she was sitting among a group of 12- around the fire- having a fireside chat. She did not see me come in or even walk towards her. She was totally engaged with the group. She has a huge smile upon her face, her eyes were gleaming, she looked so peaceful and happy.
She doesn’t look like this very often when she is with me or my brother. She puts on the sad and lonely face and is downtrodden.
I made myself a “shadow in the shade” (love this line- from an excellent song by an excellent artist- Mishka- you can only listen to it on Utube- check it out-it has nothing to do with Dorothy) and just sat back and observed. In those moments Dorothy was Dorothy, the mom I’ve known all my life. In those moments- her spirit was bright, her soul was engaged, her life was good. To be able to see this first hand- gave me reassurance that she is in the right place and that she is okay- it lifted my spirits.
If you are the listener for a demented or sick loved one -most of the time all you will hear is the negativity – and it’s usually because they trust you enough -to let pass their pain and sorrow to. You are their trashcan- they know that you are strong enough to let them dump it all on you. they know you will know how to dispose of it. In some ways this is an honor- doesn’t seem like it – but I’m sure it is.
On the rare occasion that you get a glimpse of the past from them – linger there as long as you can- I’m pretty sure it’s a God wink. (-:
Peace & Love,