Momma Forgot Pop Pop
My Momma has mid-stage advancing Alzheimer’s type dementia. I realize each day how blessed I am to have her in my life, and I love her to pieces. (That’s a good southern phrase.) I had an interaction with Momma this week that hurt my heart. Let me tell you about it.
We were hosting an exercise class for folks with dementia at our Restore and Renew Center at Senior Life Journeys, and Momma was in attendance. After the class, I was showing some of Momma’s friends a picture of her on her wedding day to Pop Pop. You have to know that Momma has been married three times, but her love for Pop Pop was something that inspired me in so many ways. I loved that man, too. I showed the picture to Momma’s friends, and then I showed it to her.
Momma said, “Who is that?” as she pointed to Pop Pop. My stomach hit the floor, my heart hurt, and I took a deep breath. I said, “Momma, that’s Pop Pop – Frederick.” She looked at me rather strangely, and said, “Really? I don’t remember him being that good looking!” That made me giggle, and I really needed that giggle at that moment.
Dementia causes us to loose our memories in the reverse order in which we gained them. Momma’s inability to recognize Pop Pop on their wedding day tells me Momma is living somewhere in the late 1980’s. Knowing this will help me gear my conversation towards topics that will match with her thought processes about the 1980’s and later years.
Always enter the world of your loved one in the space and time in which they are living. This makes your conversation more pleasant and your visit more successful.
Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.
Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Laugh!
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are not longer interested?
HAROLD: A Teacher!
TEACHER: Now Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don’t have to. My Momma is a good cook!
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are!