On June 16, 2015, Mom told me she was going to the creation. Fourteen months later, off she went,
June 17, 2015: Communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s dementia can be frustrating. It can also be enriching, entertaining, and even educational.
Whatever Mom says, I try to go with her flow, improvise, and let things evolve as they will. I’m often amazed at her ability to articulate her thoughts despite her aphasia and the obvious challenges she faces when trying to get her ideas across.
It’s hard to know when she tells me stories whether she’s talking about the past, the present, or the future. Nevertheless, I experience many of our talks as her sharing a kind of intuitive wisdom I feel has emerged in her as her dementia has progressed. Yesterday when I arrived to visit she told me she was going “to the creation.” That blew my mind. “That’s a good place to go,” I replied as I rescued her from the recliner in which she was trapped. We got organized, and I wheeled her downstairs for tea. After our ritual walk across the room and back, we had another amazing conversation that went something like this:
“It’ll be all right once we get going, because I can tell them,” she said as she shuffled.
“Yes you can,” I agreed. We’re edging up to her wheelchair now. “Are you almost ready to sit down?”
“Almost.” We get to the chair and I maneuver her into place in front of it.
“You can sit down now mom.The chair’s right behind you.”
“Okay dear.” She sinks down gently. I roll her forward toward the sofa where I sit down facing her. We’re close enough for our knees to touch. I take her hands in mine. “Okay, we’ll get right down to what were going to do,” she says. “Because I don’t want to sit and fiddle around with those people.”
“I know you don’t.”
“I I I I’m ready to give them a…..a…a…” She takes an aphasia break.
“To give them what Mom?”
“Well to give them a little rah…rah…rah…rah…rel…rel…rel…rel…rel… revelation.”
“Revelation?” She surprises me virtually every day with something. Today, it’s her use of a multisyllabic word chock-a-block with meaning.
“Yeah. And I know what I can give them and that’s that. And that’ll be what’ll be given to them.”
“Yes it will be Mom.” I look into her eyes. She looks straight back at me. I think of the book I’m writing, and I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. More dementia intuitive clairvoyance. “It’s going to take some time Mom,” I say. “But I’m working on it.”
“Okay,” she approves. “I don’t want you to work too much on it. But I want to give the revelation. Because you can’t deal with these people you know.”
“Yes, I know that. Do you have any more advice for me Mom?”
“No, other than the, the, the, the, than, than, the, the, I don’t seem to have any more of the real rah…rah…rah…rah…re…re…re…re…revelation. I think we’re fine.”
I ask her how she feels about me telling the story. “Fine,” she says, and then she continues: “I told them, I said ‘Listen, I said, you you you you you you you made it a little bit difficult for me so you can you can you can spend up the things. You’ve got to, you’ve got to play the games with these people, because otherwise they don’t know what they’re doing you know.”
As far as I recollected, I’d never heard Mom use the word “revelation,” and if she ever had, surely not in the last several years. When I got home, I googled it. What I found knocked me for a bit of a loop. According to Wikipedia, revelation is “the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities.” Dictionary.com defines it as “something revealed or disclosed, especially a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized.”
Next I visited the Wikipedia entry for the Book of Revelation which was a revelation in itself — all about apocalypse, prophecy, persecution, dragons and pregnant women dressed in the sun, the moon and the stars and much more. Powerful stuff.
What could I do? I was compelled to write this blog post before returning to my own book of revelation.