Being with Mama is a bit like living out A Christmas Carol. She wants to understand and have explained the ghosts of her past, her present, and her future.
From my “Good morning” greeting to her until I give her one last drink of water at bedtime, I feel like Jacob Marley, showing her all events of her life before this moment, in this moment and in the moments yet to come.
Mama has an enormous capability to recall the past, which is, for some, a very typical characteristic of dementia. So we talk about the past. We walk through darkened halls of sorrow and then back into the light of sweet memories.
The ghost of the present is a real challenge. For Mama, the present truly is the moment at hand. The present as recent as last night’s phone call from my sister, or breakfast this morning, or even watering flowers an hour ago is gone.
The biggest challenge is the ghost of the future. These questions can only be answered loosely, as all future plans must be held.
Ghosts of the past, present, and future haunt all of us to some degree; what we did or didn’t do, what we should or shouldn’t do, what we hope or fear for the days/years to come.
The past is unalterable. The future is uncertain. And the present can feel elusive. These realizations are driven home each time I am with Mama. As if that needs to be any huger, combine that with being 60 and well…the royal blues can set in.
God bless us, every one.