For some reason, I can’t help but think of the melodramatic song “Mama” this morning, as images of my mother appear in my mind’s eye. Not one to be too lost on sentimentality, “Mama I love you, Mama I care. Mama I love you, Mama my friend” none-the-less won’t leave my head!
It may be hard for someone who has not experienced dementia as a joyous part of life to understand, but my mother, at 91, with dementia, in a nursing home, sleeping a good portion of her days, cared for me until her last breath (in the physical realm. She’s still caring for my spirit, the little duffer!).
I remember sitting with her, holding her hand, while she held my heart. Always.
As far back as I can remember, all it took from her was a look. Of course, that included “the” look which meant I’d better stop whatever shenanigans were at hand in the moment. But more importantly, it included the look of love.
The glance, the smile, the wink, the smirk, all of those tender facial expressions that let me know she had my heart in her hands.
As I often sat with her in the nursing home, her desire and/or ability (who really knows?) to converse a thing of the past, the looks to convey her inner most feelings never ceased. Always particularly expressive through her deeply beautiful eyes, she could throw a glance that would bring me to my knees. I never felt for a moment that she had stopped caring for, and taking care of, me.