Mom and I went through a lot of rough patches during our sixty years together.
Our journey as dementia care partners amplified and multiplied them. In August 2014, two years before Mom died, we went through a particularly difficult time. But as Mom pointed out: “all kinds of people have rust patches.” This kind of attitude was typical of my mom; one of the things that inspired me most about her was her sheer determination. Despite the disease, despite the aphasia, despite the confusion and the multiple other challenges she faced, she was full of courage, ferocity and love.
I was also blown away by her practical wisdom and humour. On August 9, 2014, as we struggled through one of the many rough patches in which we invariably found ourselves; we talked about it. Mom was in the later stages of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type at the time. She had a great deal of difficulty articulating her thoughts. But this day, as sometimes happened, there was a break in the Alzheimer’s clouds, an afternoon of clarity.
I recorded our conversation. We agreed that we didn’t know what to do about the rough patches. BUT we also homed in on the core of what’s important when you’re facing a whole bunch of shit you don’t need, you didn’t ask for and that you feel ill-equipped to cope with.
Here’s a clip from that conversation:
Mom and I had this conversation on August 9, 2014. She died on August 17, 2016.