By Charles Towne
My darling Nancy surprises me with some of her revelations. We were visiting with friends from our church and Nanny was sitting on the sofa carrying on an animated conversation with the mother of one of the other guests. I was standing listening to them when I heard the lady ask Nancy, “Does your mother live nearby?” Without missing a lick Nan, with a little, just a tad of artistic license I might add, and with no hesitation, replied… “No, she lived in Pittsburgh until just recently, but she went on a cruise, fell overboard, and the sharks ate her!” This bit of information, though very informative, came as quite a surprise to me due to the fact that her mother had visited with us only recently and showed no signs whatsoever of shark bites, missing limbs or what one might consider catastrophic amputations.
In my wife’s defense, she has enjoyed the diverse, frustrating and somewhat peculiar delights of Alzheimer’s dementia for several years now so the shark revelation cannot be considered dishonest, but it was, at the moment, Nanny’s reality.
Nancy has been a resident of Florida Living nursing home for two years now. Her confusion at times leads her to behave in a wild and whacky style but she still knows who I am, for this, I am very thankful. She is always glad to see me come and gets angry when I leave. She doesn’t understand why she can’t come home with me. Yeah, it is more than frustrating for both of us so all I can do is go in and visit with her on a daily basis
If you imagine the confusion that accompanies dementia is difficult for you to handle, try to see it from the victim’s viewpoint. Almost all that was familiar is now strange.
Just this evening I received a call from a friend. I was shocked as she told me that she has recently been diagnosed with dementia with it’s accompanying confusion. She has always been a wonderful cook, but now, everything is strange. She lives in Canada with its socialized medicine and is told that she will have to wait at least three years before admission to a nursing home. She and her husband live on a farm with no family nearby. What do they do?
What do WE do?
We can pray and hope for the soon coming of our Lord, and do the best we can.
Praise you Lord, thank you for everything, yes, even this for this too shall pass away, Amen.
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.