My sweet Momma was married to the love of her life and his name was Fred. In my world, he captured my heart in a big way. He died of cancer in 1994, and I am not sure Momma has ever fully recovered. Even in her advancing dementia, Momma will glow when she speaks of him.
Momma has a new friend at her assisted living named Jim. He lives in the exact same apartment as another friend with whom she was very close. When Jim moved in, it seemed obvious he and Momma would click. He is kind and tender and gentle, and I finally made the connection as to why Momma is so attracted to Jim.
Jim is in the hospital and I took Momma to visit him. When she saw him, she lit up the room, and so did he. He reached for her hand, and I took this picture. And then I realized—Jim looks a great deal like Momma’s love Fred, and he treats her in the same tender ways. He feels familiar and comfortable to Momma and he can make her smile in an instant.
Jim is hospitalized and he will probably spend some time in rehab. Since he has been away, Momma’s blood pressure has sky rocketed. I wonder if there is a connection.
I am not surprised to see the lines blur for Momma, and it doesn’t stress me. I am thankful for the positive influence this new friend (it doesn’t seem right to call a 75 year old man a BOYFRIEND) is having on Momma and her health.
Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach with an emphasis on Creative Music Experiences. After her husband’s closed-head injury in 1996 and her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2006, Carol began her study of the brain and the various forms of dementia that exist. Through her not-for profit company, Senior Life Journeys, she is actively involved in the lives of individuals who are caregiving for a loved-one with dementia as she helps them develop caregiving techniques. Carol’s latest book, Let’s Talk Dementia-A Caregiver’s Guide, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and it is an easy to read guide for caregivers of individuals with dementia. She also wrote the best seller If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? It tells of the amazing miracle that caused her to lose 100 pounds. You can follow her blog—Something to Ponder—at www.seniorlifejourneys.com.