Sunday, September 23, 2012

Any Phone Calls Today?

I noticed Mama was a little sad, so we wheeled her out to the garden which usually helps her mood. We were trying to see where the sadness was coming from...

Vin: What's going on with you today, Mama? You don't seem too happy.

Mama: Not a DAMN thing! Everybody forgot about me.

Vin: Nobody has forgotten you. Did you get any phone calls today?

Mama: Nahh, they're all dead.

Vin: Who is all dead? Whaddya talking about?

Mama: My family - they're ALL dead to me.

Vin: Okay, so you didn't get any phone calls today. Maybe someone will call tomorrow?

Mama: Nahh, no one is gonna call me - not even Aunt Jo... then I remembered she was dead. What the hell am I talking about - trying to get a phone call from a dead woman?

She starts to laugh hysterically & we gotta laugh with her. At least we were able to help change her mood & all was forgotten... for the moment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dementia Mama "Never Forgets" 9/11

I never lied to Mama even as a child. Okay, maybe during the teenage years when I stayed out past my curfew or answered "no, that's not alcohol on my breath." I have pretty much always told it like it was to both my parents... even after Mama was diagnosed with Dementia over ten years ago. I might sugar coat the truth or wait for her reaction, but when family members have died, were sick or when there were problems going on in my life, I told Mama the truth. That's the way I do it.

9/11 was no different... I felt Mama had to be aware of the tragedy that occurred on September 11th. It didn't matter on what level she was going to comprehend it, I thought it was important for her to be aware of the situation, after all she would be seeing it on television & in the papers. We lived in NYC & it all happened very close to where I lived & where her Nursing Home was - downtown in the West Village. In the first few days we weren't allowed to cross certain streets without showing ID's... that's how close we were.

On that horrendous morning right after the towers 
were hit, I ran over to get Mama & wheeled her into the middle of the empty street to see & hear what was going on all around us. We were able to see the flames at the top of the buildings as they burned. She didn't seem that interested, she just wanted to eat pancakes, but the fact was that we were there together! We would make our daily visits to the West Side Highway by the Hudson River to watch the recovery workers head further downtown as we joined the crowds cheering them on. 

On the anniversary of this infamous day, I still ask Mama what she remembers about September 11th. Her answers vary, but usually she'll remember the flames, the people in the streets & no cars. It's odd how certain things still remain in her mind, even with Dementia. It brings new meaning to the slogan "Never Forget".