The loss of memory…

Having spent years abroad, it was time for my return

With my elderly mother, I had visualized a tearful reunion

I entered my childhood home, my excitement barely contained

How was I to know that my euphoria would soon wane…

My mother shuffled to the door to greet me

She looked up at me quite expressionlessly

Smiled and politely asked me, “Who are you?”

She appeared mildly curious as if meeting someone new

Her helper told me most days she did not know her name

Her memory was lost, advanced dementia was to blame…

**

The enormity of this revelation hit me suddenly

I, my mother’s flesh and blood, was a stranger apparently

She had memory issues, this much I had heard

Of course she was growing old, to me it had not occurred

That her dementia could be so profound

That when I met her, she would mentally not be around

Someone seemed to have stabbed my heart

Whether it was guilt or sorrow, I could not tell them apart…

**

For her age she was in fair physical condition

Which is why the decline in her cognition

Felt so poignant- the body should be outlived by the soul

Not the other way round, what makes people whole

Is their mental faculty, their cognition

Which my mother had lost beyond recognition

I would talk to her, we would have conversations brief

But we could not reminisce about old days- that gave me grief

Sometimes I would see, or imagine maybe

A tiny flicker of recognition in her eyes, filling me with glee

For a moment I would audaciously hope for recovery

I would delude myself into thinking she had found her memory…

**

My mother- a shadow of her former self she is now

Her loss of memory does not allow

Her to be the person she used to be

Dementia has robbed her of her identity

What would I not give today

For her, just once, to say

That I am her child- show me that she knows

That I am back, I am close…

One thought on “The loss of memory…

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