Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lest we forget

I am lucky enough not to know too much about the work that Altzheimer's Society do but I imagine that a lot of their work goes into helping to understand good care and helping carers to cope better with their relatives when Alzheimer's disease strikes.

Nothing, to me better explains this than a conversation I overheard in a cafe in Hawkeshead when I was last in the lakes.  I will tell it in the first-party voice to avoid complicating it with, "he said she said".  It is not my story but that of the cafe owner who, for background, had moved her mother into a home where the staff were helping her come to terms with her mother's care arrangements.  They described it to her as, "we are helping you with your mother's care".  They had also been explaining that they should let their mother live in the particular era that she thinks she is in, regardless of when it is. They explained, it was easier than to try to persuade her she was wrong and to explain away years of questions that would arise.  Bob is the story-teller's father.

She became agitated one day and said to me, "do you suppose Bob will ever ask me to marry him?"

"I'm sure he will", I responded.

"I mean, we've been together for 10 years.  You'd think he would ask me to marry him by now".

"He will, you just have to be patient".

"I mean, it's not like we have any children together,"

My brother and I held our breath and looked on, astonished.  Was this it?  Had she finally reached the point when she didn't know who we were any more?

She saw the alarm in our eyes, smiled, reached out for my hand, and with a comforting smile said, "except for you two of course".


It's a horrible disease but I like to think this is a beautiful story.

My friend has raised over £1800 for Alzheimers UK so someone else gets the care or the training or the help they need.  I'm oh so very proud of her.  This will make her cry but I'm not sorry.  At least I won't if someone else donates.

Last plug (from me anyway).

1 comment:

Darting Dragonfly said...

Yup. Made me cry. Love you, crazy lady xx