Sundowning Sunday

Lest we believe that eliminating Diet Coke has cured her of her dementia, I bring you tonight’s sundowning moment:

“Even though this doesn’t feel like home I guess we’ve been here for a while.” Which was immediately followed by, “I guess we just got here.”

Of course we were at home in the house she’s lived in for more than thirty years. Of course we’d been home for hours, so we didn’t just get here.

My frustration is that I lock up in these moments and don’t know what questions to ask. It always takes a beat before I can respond, and when I do I want to be affirming and comforting. I’d also like to ask some questions.

This evening I managed to get out, “this doesn’t feel like home?” But wouldn’t it be good if I could ask things like, where do you think you are? Where is home? What do you think brought you here? Whose belongings are these if not yours? Are you afraid? Are you confused? What are you feeling right now? What I really want to know is what it’s like to be this way. What is she thinking when she’s so confused?

All day today she was a little bit confused. As forgetful as always. She remembered picking spring beauties with her friend in elementary school but she didn’t remember from one moment to the next what we were doing or where we were going.

Where we went was the botanical gardens. I thought the place would be resplendent with flowers and flowering trees. I thought they’d have manicured beds of tulips and daffodils and other blooms. Nope, not a one. We saw some daffodils past their primes, a few azalea bushes, and some flowering trees. All very pretty but not the spring show I’d been hoping for. Nonetheless, mom declared it the prettiest of all the parks. I was glad she liked it.

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