Notes from Pastoral Visits

December 13th, 2010 by Rainey

“I’ve never really watched television,” she said.  “My daughters will come in in the evening and I will be sitting here with the lights low in my chair. They will ask me why I don’t turn on the television or something.  I tell them that I after all those years at the Crown factory that I like the quiet.  I find it soothing and peaceful.  I can finally hear myself think.  My mother used to like television.  She would call me at Sears where I was working in the afternoon and say, ‘I can’t believe what happened to Josh!’  ‘Who’s Josh, Mother?’ I would ask.  ‘You know…Penny’s boyfriend.’  ‘Uh huh.  Who’s Penny?”  Those soap opera people became like her family!  The more she struggled with the Alzheimer’s the more real they got.”

“My mother would remember everyone in my family except for me after a while.  After I had been the one to care for her and keep her in my home.  Every once in a while I would bring her home for a weekend from the home that Dr. Clark got her into in Culpepper.  And she would come in and point out the different pictures on the wall that she had given to me and tell Naomi, my sister, ‘All these pictures used to be mine.  And I wanted my daughter Mary to have them.  But this lady here must have stole them!’  ‘Mother, I’d say, I AM Mary.’  Finally, one day as I drove her back to the home I had had enough.  She had recognized both my sisters and told them that she loved them, but she just wouldn’t talk to me.  I pulled over on the side of the road.  ‘Who do you think I am?’  And she looked up and said, ‘I don’t know.’  ‘I’m Mary, your daughter!’  And she said, ‘You’re no daughter of mine!’  That hurt me really bad.  That she would not know me after all those years.”

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