Wondering what words they would say
I was visiting my mother at the nursing home (she is in the dementia unit). I sat looking at each resident’s face and I wondered what each one was like before.
What kind of life did they enjoy? What are they thinking? Can they think and just can’t verbalize it? Do they know anything anymore?
I don’t know. If they could verbalize, what would they want to say to us, to family, friends, acquaintances, ministers, anyone they were close to? Would they say:
“Hellooooo, hey, here I am. I am still alive. I can’t talk to you. Or, if I can, I don’t make any sense anymore. Maybe I am quiet, or mean, or funny. Maybe I can’t say your name anymore, but I am here, alive. I don’t know.
”I can’t take care of myself anymore, and you could no longer take care of me. I don’t know you at all, but you know me. Please don’t forget me. Come see me, make sure I am cared for. No one else knows. Yes, I like ketchup on my fries, coffee with cream. I love a throw blanket on my legs, or I get cold. Other people wouldn’t know these things. Caretakers wouldn’t know. But you do. Please come see me.
”I don’t know you anymore, but you know me. Please visit me.”
P.S. I love you, mom, but you don’t know me anymore.
– Janice Ambrose, Mineral Ridge