Coming to visit you on the morning after Christmas Day 2015 I asked how you are.  You say, “Well, not too good, I can’t find Lorene.”  Moment of truth for me: Lorene is Jean’s sister who died 22 years prior. Will telling her straight cause her new pain?  No time for hesitation. And I say, “Well Jean, Lorene has been gone over 20 years now.”  She says:  “Oh, that’s right.”  I say I know you miss her and we talk about her sister.  Love is in the Doing.

Feeding you breakfast in the hospital last year I watched you drink from an imaginary coffee mug. This is life. Visiting you in physical therapy after your 2nd hip break and you didn’t recognize me. The PT worker asked “Who is this Jean?” And you say: “Well, she must work here.” The first time is hard when a loved one doesn’t recognize you.  Later though you knew me and reached your hand out to my face.  Love is in the doing.

Dementia is a sliding scale.  It comes and goes, but for certain it grows closer.  Luckily in the end of your 89 years of life you still knew.  As I write this I realize it has been 9 months to the day, the 27th, that you passed.

Dementia- Do you know it?

Photo:  This is my favorite photo of Jean because it shows her as so…Alive. Her easy smile and gentle way.

Live. Breathe. Alive. blog- Here I write about life, love, and what I am learning to help others. Using the voice I have.

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