Wisdom Nuggets

While on the Island the neighbors to the north and east each offered me sage words of wisdom. They have both cared for family members with mental illness and/or dementia.

When sharing with the northerly neighbor that we’re working toward moving mom’s furniture to her AL apartment, I explained how we were going to handle mom’s, likely, violently negative response to her Island belongings suddenly showing up. This being that the community needs to start charging rent for the Respite furniture, and so we’d explain it was easy to bring mom’s belongings down rather than paying hundreds of dollars a month to rent the Respite furniture. Moving everything back when she’s able to return home would be a piece of cake. The neighbor said, “Oh NO! You say, It’ll be so easy to return everything home ‘when the time comes.’ This way you’re not promising she’ll be able to ‘return home'” Such subtle linguistics make a big difference.

In a moment of reflecting on my mom’s forceful personality, while walking through the house, the eastern neighbor said, “Such better outcomes could have been possible for your mom and my sister, if they’d been more accepting.” She was referring to having help in the home to extend independent living. Her sister suffers from a metal illness, tinged with violent episodes, and my mother having never ever had the ability due to, probably at first, fear and pride, and now to the disease is itself, acknowledge that she has a serious cognitive problem. The neighbor said, “It’s part of the disease process.” So true.

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