Day # 82 – Can Dementia Forge Forgiveness?

Here Is Some Background To My Today Daily Blog Entry

There was a time so long ago when the phone would ring and I would be happy to hear your voice asking me how was my day…

Then without waning the heavy rain clouds just holding onto their accumulation of evaporated water from the earths atmosphere… burst open up and stormed their way back to the earth & grounds below…

The above is my euphemism is for the “family battling quests” that would rain down into and onto the seemingly civilised family conversations that of course threatened to cause tirades of hurtful words & times.

I battled on for so many years coming and going from the table that often swayed between the good time celebrations and the inevitable 6 monthly down trodden finger pointing moments.

I at time struggled under the unclear &  muttered words of love that were barely spoken but where implied that they existed… I struggled to accept the hugs and the greetings that came my way but seemed empty in their embrace… I eventually began to see a pattern forming and at some point & within a few months into my loving relationship; I knew at the slightest of glances that the time for family gatherings and laughter would soon be replaced with harsh words, angry faces and distances that would span on for the minimum time of 6 months (at the longest point there was a 6 year feud).

So Here I Am Today… & Here Is My Conundrum…

Just the other day in one of online groups I decided to take my turn at a mentored moment. I raised my hand with the symbolic icon knowing very well that I would probably not get picked; there were from what I was seeing a far greater number people also awaiting their chance to speak… & that had in fact been waiting in line instead of waiting in their minds like I had been prior to me getting some Dutch courage to raise my hand.

Hello Tanya I heard… if I wasn’t already sitting on the floor in front of my stacked coffee table full of my days daily to do list … I think I would have fallen from my chair…

I had a topic but no real thoughts behind my mentoring seeking moment… I did think about what I would say if I was chosen from a room full of willing participants… but had no real plan in delivering my thoughts, so I caught myself in the pictured view of my recorded moment on camera… good one I thought… “at the very least you could have remembered to get suitably dressed” so i plucked up the courage and began to speak…

If someone you love has come and gone from your life through harsh moments and poorly miss spoken words… attacked you with all their cruelness and kept you on the side lines until they needed you to around… how could a person with their sanity unassured ever return back to the scene of the crime .. the very place where you were just an insignificant object and just another mouth to feed at an ever so beautifully dressed ns seated table…

I caught myself and realised that these words I didn’t actually speak…I was mumbling in mindless thoughts but no words were coming out of my mouth… my bottom lip trembled as it often does when I don’t have the answers to life’s questions… I knew that I had to hold back the tears that have forever laid dormant and hidden… I’m not a crier but I could feel my eye lids pooling… all eyes were upon me…

I began to speak out loud… and I started to ask my question that wasn’t very well thought out… I stumbled and my words were jumbled… and a small trickle of soldiered tears rolled down by pink flushing cheeks. Deep inside I was actually pep talking myself and asking myself a barrage of small talk questions “How can a person forgive someone for the harshness that they have for so many years spoken..? How can I possibly help out a person who has all but destroyed me..?”

Funny enough none of the questions above rolled off my “heart hurting earth burnt tongue” but eventually after a stuttered start… out come the question that I put out into the open supported room… ” How Is It That I Can Forgive A Person Who After 25 Years Of Being Married To Their/His/Her Son Has Been Given The Diagnosis Of Dementia?? & all of a sudden they now feel the stretch of my distance & they now are feeling the burden of loneliness and unwontedness. (broadly speaking – Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning).

The background to my question happened just a few days ago…

hands.pngAfter a span of nearly 2.5 years I get a phone call from a local police officer seeking me out… he proceeded to tell me his name and told me that he has in his company at his own personal home my Mother-In-Law who had given him my name and asked for his to give me a call… he told me how he got my number (she was unable to provide that) and proceeded to say that my Mother-In-Law had presented to him confused claiming that she no longer lived in the house that she has lived in for nearly 8 years… that was located just across the way… as my Mother-In-Law and the police officer were neighbours he did for her all he could… after making her feel supported safe and comfortable he called me and tells me that my mother-in-law was asking for me that I would know what to do for her in her time of need.

As I am not privileged to all the family’s comings and goings I told him what I knew of her medical diagnosis of dementia. I felt a tear roll down my cheek & questioned quietly to myself “why me… ? She hates me… she hasn’t spoken to me in such a long time”

I sternly looked at myself as I passed the mirrored stand to the dresser in my room… of course I will come I uttered… I knew & thought it was the right thing to do to fill the neighbourhood policeman in that my mother- in-law were indeed in a long moment of not talking…

I caught myself in my moment of outspoken thought and said of course I will come… i wiped away my tears and knew oh to well that if she was seeking to see me that she was truly needing help.

I ushered instructions of where I was going to my children without going into any details for why I was going there… of course they were suspicious… they knew that their Grandmother hadn’t been in their lives for sometime. Calling my Hubby, I ordered my husband without reason to come home… he knew that I wouldn’t just have called for no reason… but all that he got from my conversation is your mum needs our help.

I muttered a few words to my online friend.. there was no need for explanation as she has heard my stories plentifully… I was so un-thought out but I made my apologies for having to put off our live and on camera weekly meeting…

With orders barked and my meeting cancelled a quickly brushed the wild out of my hair… I put on a splash foundation in hopes that I could hide my tear lines… I was dressed, smelling nice and pushing my now home husband out our front doors entry.

That is my story of just a few days ago when my “Found In A Confused State – Mother-In-Law asking for me to come see her… to help her… for in her say so… I would know what to do.

img_3187.jpgToday as I was researching for written thoughts for my daily writings & here is what it said:-

You can forgive someone
And yet not want anything to do with them.
People need to understand
That forgiveness is for past reconciliation,
Not for future consideration

Authored By: Attitude To Inspiration

I am not confused or questioning if I want to be at my mother-in-laws side to help her through her toughest days & I am certainly not questioning why it was that at a moments notice did I drop everything to be there.. to help her.. to take her home… to place a moment of trust and caring back into her confused mind.

My questions now that now dig away at me are leaving my eyes wide open at night.
I lay at night wondering if she and her diagnosis of dementia are at the stage where her mind is slowly slipping by… do I actually have it in me to forgive her one last time?

Is the she still present or is her dementia the present occupant of her mind? Does she at all remember the years that we haven’t crossed paths? Is it her or her altered state that I should find it in me to forgive….?

I do have some hidden questions that I feel are just a tad selfish and I do feel wrong for even writing it but I would truly like to know the answer to the questions that keep me up at night… Is the mother-in-law that she is to me aware of all the wrongs that have been made? Is she aware of all that’s been said and if she isn’t at all able to remember what and how much do I tell her? How do I answer her someday questions without her having to relive her part of parts in our distant relationship all over again or maybe even for the first time.. ONE MORE TIME???

Lastly my final questions I am aware that I may never get an answer to…

How Can I Simply Forget, & Be Left Alone With Yesterdays Hurtful Memories… ???
Am I To Go It Alone In Memory Flash Backed Mind…??
How can I become ok in my acceptance of yesterdays wrong doings & be there there to be the comfort… the family member & loved one that I can obviously and clearly see that she is seeking and will someday soon may be needing?

This Blog post was a heart challenging moment full of questions that are directed to no forgive-and-forgetother than myself and my hearts beating conscience… can I move towards forgiveness even if it means that I am the only one that will actually have the memories of my 25 years of hurtful and family altering pain…? Only time will tell I guess… but I know one thing for sure and that is no matter which way I sway… “either I go to her or I don’t – either I find it in me to forgive her – or I choose that I cant” fences and bridges cannot be mended and rebuilt sitting on my ass in front of my computing seeking answers from this very blog post…. I have pep talked myself long enough.. and I have made the choice to go visit with her again and go from there after we have good old heart to heart.

The only thing I know for sure is this…” I maybe able to find it within my heart of hearts to forgive the reasons for the lessons that I have been taught, but as for the lessons themselves I may never be able to forgive the hurts that they have caused.

Can Dementia Forge Forgiveness??? Only Time & The Testing Of The Waters Will Tell Me The Answers To My Lengthy Questionings.

Author. Tanya Kelly


3 thoughts on “Day # 82 – Can Dementia Forge Forgiveness?

  1. Dear Tanya,

    The questions you ask are, of course, yours and only yours, to answer. I will say this. Aging can be cruel. It can be the loss of everything ever held dear — every memory, every relationship and every moment that lies ahead..

    That being said, maybe it is not a pass for her, but maybe a chance for you. A chance to release the burden of sad memories and hurtful remarks that have been the hallmark of your relationship.

    Just remember that you are held in the thoughts and prayers of so many and I am confident you will find the right path to travel with her on this final leg of her journey. It will, most likely, not always be easy.

    Sending you love and light.


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