SoCS Jan. 16/16 – “what”



It was mum again, calling out in the middle of a conversation she was for one never a part of and two she wouldn’t have been able to contribute to, as she knew nothing about pedagogy.

Roger from school had turned up at the nursing home and mum whilst being awake physically was somewhere else these days in her befuddled head. He was keen to discuss our new Drama program and said he wanted to get it done for school on Monday so he was apologetic about intruding on my time with mum but truth be known I was pleased with the interruption.

Though mum saw it differently and throughout our chat she continued to interrupt with the inane things she did say these days as her brain went from random thought to even more random thought.

At one point she thought Roger was her dad, her brother and her uncle Pete all of whom had died many years ago.

We laboured through the program trying to ignore for the most part mum’s constant blurting out and what could have taken a half hour took an hour and a half as every so often I would have to placate her as she perceived Roger as some threat to her and would be urging me to call the police before we all had our throats cut.

Of course for every reply I gave mum she responded with a “What?”

But I was so used to her now and had learned to humour her and satisfy her that I wasn’t a vicious criminal wanting to steal her millions or some long dead relative I didn’t know anyway.

Roger left obviously worn out from our encounter with mum but armed with a new program that was sure to satisfy our boss’ requirements.

I settled back into my chair as mum began what was to be a long chat about her dalliance with an American serviceman, a man called Phil whom she could recall in vivid detail. How much was true I could never tell but at times mum had the most fertile of memory but I was sure that come the time to go home she’d be wondering who in the hell I was.

Written for:



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19 Responses to SoCS Jan. 16/16 – “what”

  1. You’ve captured what life is like from the perspective of the person with dementia and their family member. The confusion, the delusions, the allowances to normalcy and dementia.
    Another great piece of writing.

  2. Mandy says:

    It seems there’s always one kid in the family that has what it takes to handle the really tough stuff with caring for the aging parent. We should all be so lucky. Really great post, Michael.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Having been through dementia with my dad I can relate to this piece. My dad liked to sing dirty ditties which was very upsetting for everyone. What did figure largely in his conversation too. You are doing well coping with one of life’s more difficult challenges. All the best.

  4. The compassion for your mom and your philosophical attitude to her possibly forgetting you is heartwarming. Enjoyed this a lot.

  5. LindaGHill says:

    Ah Michael, it’s so sad to see them going downhill, isn’t it? My mum’s not quite there yet, but her memory at times is down to 30 seconds. And she knows it.
    Thanks for this post.

  6. Tender writing Michael. God bless you.

  7. Susan says:

    Good writing Michael. As a nurse, I visited many elderly with dementia and alzheimers with their family and it was hard for them to watch them go downhill. 🙂

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