Monday, October 08, 2007

Finding Mom

My mother has dementia. When it first started, I was concerned. Then I was sad. Today I’m experiencing something different. I can’t say I’m delighted or even at peace with her dementia. But I have found a small gift in her condition. I’m finding more of my mother each day as she chooses to share more with me, often because she thinks I am a sister rather than her daughter. Well, we do both have graying hair.

Mom is talking about things in her life she’s never shared before. She’s sharing those things that she has been holding close, some for her lifetime of 88 years.

We all have our secrets we think we’ll take to our graves. But dementia has allowed my Mom to share those things with me. Sometimes she knows she’s sharing a secret for the first time. Most often, the secret comes out in bits and pieces and I have to read between the lines. But over time, I learn more and more as the truth, or rather “her truth,” unfolds.