Dementia Diaries: My mom's "boyfriend"
8/26/19 -- For all the sadness surrounding dementia this really warms my heart. For the past few months my mom has talked a lot about her “boyfriend”--not Elvis--although sometimes she's dating him too ;) Her "friend" also resides in memory care and is at a very similar stage of dementia. And let me tell you, he is such a sweetheart.
Often times I’ll walk in and find them sitting on the couch holding hands. She’s yammering on about office business and paperwork (this stems from her old jobs) and he tells me he’s just listening to her. He helps her stand up and sit down in chairs. Sometimes he’ll go as far as to stand up himself just to take her hand and help pull her out of the couch. They walk up and down the halls together and look around to sit next to each other before meals. Usually when I take her out, he’ll ask me if he can come with. It breaks my heart to tell him no.
Tonight before I left, i found her friend and sat her down for dinner next to him. He always lights up when he sees her and looked up at me with the warmest smile. Without saying a word he took his napkin, carefully folded it to make a crease, then ripped it and gave her the other half before finding extra silverware—making sure to ask her exactly which one she wants. "Would you like the big fork or the little fork?"
She’s starting to make far less sense then him these days... but their relationship is so innocent and sweet.
And as if he's sensing my heart break a little more every time he hears me tell her "I love you" and goodbye... he instinctively tells me he loves me too and that he’ll keep an eye out for her. Makes my eyes well up with tears nearly every time.