The unexpected quality of openness

One of the loveliest parts of starting “fun” time with my mother was the way I began looking forward to that time slot with her. I didn’t have to be competent all the time, or keep trying to improve things. My need to “preserve and protect” my boundaries dissolved, too.

Strange how, after decades of establishing a boundary with the parents to define oneself as an individual, it is only when those boundaries dissolve that one finds  the best of oneself….

Care is often not seen as related to fun. I definitely did not think of “fun” for years. Oh, I would try to talk to my mother sometimes, but it didn’t quite work out. For one, I lacked the skill to orient with and feel comfortable with her view of reality. And another, I always had a agenda, even though I wasn’t aware of it myself, and that agenda was to make her accept her situation and improve.
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thumbs down

My mother holds three Masters degrees (Education, Philosophy, and Psychology).  Being highly educated has been, to her, a very important part of her personality. She considered anyone uneducated as less intelligent and just…less of a person.

When she saw someone use a thumbprint instead of sign a document/ cheque, she would wrinkle her nose. Being an अंगूठा छाप (one who needs a thumbprint for a signature), was, to her, the ultimate insult.

Things have changed now. She cannot sign any more, not even hold a pen correctly. She does not remember her name, or remember what writing is.Today, with great hesitation, we needed her thumbprint on a life certificate that the authorities require. I was dreading her reaction  —  but she did not seem to register what was happening as the doctor (with an expertise that shows this problem is common enough) pressed her thumb on an ink-pad and took its impression.

I don’t know whether to feel relieved that she did not mind, or to feel that her not minding is yet another tragedy of her situation…

My blog entries of my experiences of looking after my bedridden mother(she is in late-stage dementia) are available here: Late stage care (Caring for mother).

Resources to understand late stage care are available here: Late-stage dementia care page of Dementia Care Notes


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