Accompanying My Amnesiac Father, Learned to Live, a Simpler Life

From the caretaker’s “notebook”, translated…

This past year, every time I’d entered into the nursing home, I’d wanted to evade from thinking too much, fearing, that if I’d thought too much, then, I’d get weighed down by that sense of “loss”.

I’d thumbed across Cheng-Hong Liang’s article, the writer used the term, “simplistic” to describe how his own mother went through her days.  Actually, I just couldn’t find the right wordings, to describe the world I’d come to experience recently.

My father who had a stroke, lay in his bed, the blueprints of his memories would stay hidden and it would come back from time to time, he’d become more than silent now, totally unlike how when he’d worked as a disciplinary officer at the school, so articulate, I’m probably the brightest marker of the realms of his memories!  Because of me being there with him daily, if he could easily call out to me, “My dearest child!”, using this small clue, my father worked hard, to put together, the pieces of his fragmented past, and I, used these thin threads, to keep the bond with my father going strong.

Sitting next to my father, massaging his arms, witnessed how he went from the colorful world, retreated, into a darkened corner of his mind, from an active life, into a slow and delayed world of the elderly person, I felt, that “loneliness” had enlarged itself, enveloped everything now, and, there’s this “scent” of light sadness, surrounding us both.  I kept engaging in conversations with him, wanted to try to lure his memories back with my communications, slowly, I’d understood, even IF we, as father and child, started talking on the same page, that still wouldn’t mean, that I have him back, “Don’t want to be forgotten!”, although neither one of us spoke of this, but, we were both, screaming it aloud with our gazes, and inside our hearts.

Because he’d lost his memories, my father’s life became simple.  Ahh!  Heading into the station of life marked “simple”, is a must, how, do I chew and savor, the taste of this simplicity, my father slowly, taught me, this lesson to me, with his “forgetting”…………

So, this, is from the passages of someone’s life at the end, because this woman accompanied her father through the final stages of his life, she was able to observe the changes in her father’s life, how aging had affected him, and she’d cherished every moment they’d shared even more.

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