Tag Archives: Memory Loss

The Day You Became a Stranger to Me…

We’re, going down, this slippery slope, and we both knew, that this, will NOT end well, at A-L-L!!!

The day you became a stranger to me, but how, we were related, a very long time ago, I suppose, and now, I don’t even recognize your face at all, I see you, as a foreigner in my world, a complete stranger…

The day you became a stranger to me, it’d hurt, and this day had, eventually come, for your condition had worsened, to the point, that you can’t even recognize that that’s you, reflected, in that dresser mirror anymore.

The day you became a stranger to me, who are you, what are you doing in my house?  HELP!  INTRUDER!!!  The day you became a stranger to me, that, is the day, I hoped that I could die, but, I’m still here, for some unknown reasons…

The day you became a stranger to me, there’s NO way ‘round it, because with the deteriorations of your mind, you’d stared at that blank wall more and more, and although I’d still come visit you three, four time a week, but, we’re rarely, interacted with one another anymore.

The day you became a stranger to me, I had never seen you before!  Who are you?  And, why do I have a ring, on my ring finger, I’m not married, I’m only ten years old!

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Filed under Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Despair, Family Matters, Interpersonal Relations, Loss, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, White Picket Fence

Days I Can’t Keep Track of…

There are, more, and more, of these now, and I really don’t know why!

Days I can’t keep track of, they’d slip, right on by, without me, noticing, and, it’s been days, since I can recall now.  Days I can’t keep track of, will I ever, get them back again?  Because, what IF, something MAJOR happened, during those days I can’t keep track of, and, they’re totally lost to me?

Days I can’t keep track of, they seemed to become so many now, whereas, there were just one, or two occasions, that I couldn’t recall what’d happened, and now, it’s like, I’m living, in a daze here.  I feel so very lost.

Days I can’t keep track of, they’re gone, too quickly, before I even realized, like water, slipping through my fingers, as I desperately tried, to grab a hold onto them all, I just couldn’t, because, they’d all, slipped, through my fingertips.

Days I can’t keep track of, how many had there been?  Since I’d started to, slowly, forget?  How long’s it been now?  Am I one year older?  Is my husband still around?  Where is he?  How come, I don’t see him around this house of mine anymore?

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Filed under Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Life, Loss, Observations, Old Age, Properties of Life

I Will Carry on, and Let You Forget

Burdened, with the memories of someone who’d lost her/his memories here…

I will carry on, and let you forget, because that, is my duty, obligation (I HATE that word!), and responsibilities, of being your child.  I will carry on, and let you forget, as your memories had, faded, little, by little, each and every day, and on some days, you can’t even recall who I am!

I will carry on, and let you forget, so, don’t worry, mom, it’s okay if you don’t know who any of us is, I’ll be there, to remind you.  We’ll sort through those yellowed photographs, and I will tell you the stories about them, as you’d told me when I was a child.

I will carry on, and let you forget, you’ll no longer, be burdened with the painful memories of your past now, they’re mine, to carry.  I will carry on, and let you forget, because I’m your caretaker, and, there’s NO one else who wanted this DEAD-END (b/c that, is what this is!!!) job.

I will carry on, and let you forget, and, your memories, they’re fading by the day, and one day, they’ll be like those candles on your birthday cake, completely blown out, and, the two of us will be, in the darkness…………

I will carry on, and let you forget, because that, is what I’m supposed to do, and soon, you won’t remember any details from your past, you won’t even recognize me, your own flesh-and-blood, but I will still be right here, beside you.

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Filed under Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Despair, Downward Spiral, Expectations, Life, Loss, Observations, Old Age

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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Filed under Miscelaneous

Living in a State of Rewind with My Mother-in-Law

With a demented elderly again, on interactions with the in-laws, translated…

In these couple of years, returning back to the countryside, to accompany my demented mother-in-law, and weakening father-in-law became something my husband and I must do every single day after work.  Gladly, our two children are grown up, it’d allowed us to have the time and energy, to care for our aging parents.

Some say, that people in our age group should carry the responsibilities of caring for the parents, but, our generations beg to differ, we’d believed, that nursing homes are the places to be after we’re aged.  And, every time I’d thought to here, I’d always felt sad, but, how not to become burdens to our young, is a lessons, that we should be, working hard, to learn.

The population of the demented elderly seemed to be on the rise these days, there are, several of them, who’d come to visit my mother-in-law regularly.  I’d heard their conversations, and feel, that it was like, listening to a record being played over, and over again.  A would ask, “Did you eat?”, B replied, “I’m full, and you?”, A returned, “Because I ate, that, is why I’d come to visit you.”, and I sat, hearing them, rewind their conversations, over, over, and over again, and I’d counted it out in my mind, three times, four times………, and, maybe, we’d feel annoyed, but, think about it, carefully, this, is the frequency, to which the demented elderly talk.

Several times, when my mother-in-law was hanging out with demented elderly persons like herself, her originally dumbfounded look would all of a sudden, light up, maybe, they’re one another’s best audience, every conversation for them, became the very first time, and she’d gotten passionate responses, unlike how she’d conversed with my father-in-law, or us even, she’d often gotten our annoyed tones of voices and looks too.

It seems, that in order to make my mother-in-law happy, we must, accompany her, through her “rewinds” then.

Because the demented elderly have the tendencies to repeat the same stories over, over, over, and over again, those around them may get annoyed, having heard those tales so many times, but, if you put a group of demented elderly persons together, then, they’d gotten along quite well, because everything they’d told to each other, again, and again, and again, would be like the first time that they’re hearing it, so, this, is one more way, to keep the demented elderly socialized with the outside world.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Family Matters, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Observations, Properties of Life

Slowly, She’s Forgetting…

Her memories are, drained, little, by little from her mind each and every day, and soon, we’re all afraid, that she won’t even KNOW who she is, which, is why, we’re working, real hard, tryin’ to capture the moments of her lucidity, because, we’re all afraid, of losing her, to dementia…

Slowly, she’s forgetting, first, it’s the grandchildren’s names, and, who’s kids are they, then comes, the names, of her own offspring, save for that one, you know, the one she always keeps, close to her  mind?  And then, her spouse would “go” too…

Slowly, she’s forgetting, I wish, that there are some ways, that I can make sure, that she remembers, but, the more I’d forced her to recall, the more frustrated she’d become, and, she’d become, too withdrawn, to interact with me.

Slowly, she’s forgetting, and now, I’m burdened, with the memories of her better self, and, I just can’t get over the fact, that this gray-haired woman who’s sitting in a wheelchair (as she’d forgotten how to walk too!!!) before me, once held my hand, and told me, not to be afraid…

Slowly, she’s forgetting, and, eventually, she won’t even remember WHO she is anymore, but, we will all be here, to remind her, of how much love there is, around her, how many of us (that’s still ALL of us here!!!) still cared very much so about her.

Even though, she’s slowly forgetting, we will, carry forth with the memories she had let go of, because that, is what we, her offspring, are supposed to do………

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Filed under Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Despair, Downward Spiral, Life, Loss, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Planning for the Future, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Trends

My Mother Was Placed into a Home…She Doesn’t Remember Who I am Anymore

Translated…

Some twenty odd years ago, one day at dusk, my mother was going to the kitchens to get food to eat, and, accidentally tripped by the things lying around the floor, we’d rushed her to the hospital.  Because she had the conditions of osteoporosis, the doctor told us, “She’d broken her hipbones, and needed to check into the hospital, so we can schedule her for surgery.”

Because my mother is old and ailing, she couldn’t make a speedy recovery after the surgeries, and needed someone to lean on to when she walked.  And, as her children, we’d worked during the days, and couldn’t manage to look after her, and so, we could only check her into a nursing home.

At first, we didn’t notice anything different with her, until one day, I’d gone to visit her, she’d complained to me, that she’d not eaten for two whole days, and she’s feeling very hungry, I was shocked when I heard, wondered if the nursing home was abusing the elderly there.  As I was having my doubts, my younger brother came to visit her as well, my mother mentioned how she’d “loved to savor some fresh fish.”

And so, my younger brother rushed out, and bought a serving of fish soup, out of both our expectations, my mother said, “why did you bring me fish?”, at which time, the question in my mind started unfolding, could it be, that my mother is now, demented?

With the passing of time, the symptoms of her dementia worsened.  The most apparent was, she’d often suspected that someone was taking her things, once, she’d even asked me, “Who are you?  Why do you keep on hanging around here?”, after I’d heard, I couldn’t help, but cry, thought, that as she aged, she couldn’t even recognize her own offspring, there’s nothing MORE tragic in the world than this!

Two years after we’d checked our mother into the nursing home, she’d passed on.  As I recalled this tragic loss in my life, I’d still be overwhelmed with emotions.  It’d made me realized, that as we took care of elderly who are demented, we must have the patience as well as the empathies, after all, we will, in turn, need someone to care for us one day too!

And so, this, is the caretaker’s tale, and, that just shows, that checking ones’ parents into a nursing home should come AS the last resort, because, in the nursing homes, the elderly would become even more withdrawn, after all, that, would be a brand new environment that you’d “checked” them into, and, you’re not around them regularly, which means, that they’re not surrounded with familiar things, which will only, exacerbate the deterioration process.

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Filed under Awareness, Being Alone, Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Despair, Life, Loss, Old Age