Being the Wind, being the Sun

I read a story long ago of the Sun and the Wind arguing about who is more powerful.

Then they spot this man walking on a road below, wearing a cape, and decided that whichever of them could make the man take off his cape was the more powerful one. Wind took the first turn, and blew a gale hard on the man, hoping to force the cape off him. The man only drew it close around him, gripping tightly like his life depended on it. The harder the Wind tried, the tighter the man clung to his cape. Then the Sun took his turn, and shone gently on the man, and the man relaxed and took off his cape.

Of course, the story doesn’t make all that much sense if we factor in that the Wind did the only thing it could, and so did the Sun. But I always think of this story when I remember my years of caregiving for my mother.
Read the full post

dreams and reality

I had one of my ‘favorite’ nightmares last night. It relates to reversal through time.

It starts with my mother being the way she is now, unable to do or remember anything much, but reconciled to it and peaceful (at least most of the time). I am driving her somewhere (usually to a doctor) and on the way, she starts changing. Her eyes get a life of their own, her way of looking gets sharper, her voice gets back its energy and coherence. I need to park to do something (buy something?), and when I return to the car, she’s in the driver’s seat.

At this time, she had become young again (well, around 60+, but that seems young to me given the way she is now). She is impatient with me, she remembers things that must be done (and that I have not done) and I realize that she no longer has dementia. She is, in short, back to being as…well… as energetic about her desires and values and about my mistakes as she used to be. She accuses me of having tortured and imprisoned her for the last few years under the pretense of dementia, and drives the car in a sharp u-turn just to prove how wrong I am, how very evil and scheming, and how competent she is.  Her face is a tight red with anger.
Read Read the full post

anger, sorrow, and connecting with mother

I started blogging as a means of honest introspection, and so here’s (sigh), today’s truth: I got angry with my mother. The trigger was trivial, but I felt manipulated, and I took it personally though I need not have, and I got upset. I managed to breathe deeply in time, and no, I didn’t yell at her, but still….

Before my mother got dementia, she was a very intelligent, very energetic, and fiercely independent woman. She was very affectionate, but also capable of a lot of sarcasm and manipulation–in short, a challenge to handle if you fell on the wrong side of her 😉

Today, she wanted something done, and instead of just asking for it, she used a manner of speaking that was just too reminiscent of her old ways.  She uttered a couple of sentences that triggered in me an entire set of defensive pre-conditioned responses. Though part of me remembered about her dementia, the other part insisted that this was not dementia speaking, it was the mother who I had resisted as a kid and even later.
Read Read the full post