As I work through the final plans for mom’s funeral, I’ve been going through photographs and land on one of her in a marching band uniform with a saxophone in hand. For more than a decade, when I was chatting with mom I often felt like she was recreating history. Some stories remained the same as her dementia progressed, but often there would be a statement or two that just made me go “Hmmm, O.K.”
As I was adapting to spending time with mom in the earlier stages of her dementia and before it was diagnosed, I would correct statements mom made that I knew were not true. I would like to tell you I quickly learned not to lock horns … but that was not the case. I finally realized that mom believed the things she was telling me and just started to go along with the conversation.
When I was getting a poster ready for the “life celebration” reception, I pull out a photograph of mom with a saxophone. I makes me laugh out loud. When mom mentioned she played the saxophone, I just thought it was a confabulation. Now I learn that she was telling me something real about herself all along. Humbled.