It has been portrayed several times in movies that patients suffering from dementia tend to have “episodes” of consciousness or lucidity and give us signs of hope that maybe their memories may still return. Like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Steve is talking to Peggy and then she suddenly has a bout of coughing; when she calms down, she has forgotten not only the topic but that Steve was really alive and had just saved the world. Mama did something like that today.
When I came down this morning, Mama was sitting at the dining table. I greeted her Good Morning. She beckoned me and said, “Why don’t we make this place a farm school?” Just like that, out of the blue. But for the first time since a long time, I noticed that her eyes were clear and her posture was confident. I asked what made her come up with the idea and she said, “Because we live on a farm and you are an agricultural graduate!” as if they were the most logical answers in the world. I laughed because it was true, though I hadn’t really practiced my profession since 2004.
The thing is, she went on and on excitedly, saying our house can be made into a practice house and that this will be the perfect venture because there aren’t any farm schools nearby. I commented that it might be difficult to get a license for the school as there were many requirements to be applied for from DepEd and CHEd, not to mention the agreements from my brothers and sisters. To which she argued, “Why do we need their agreement? Isn’t this my house? Can I not make the decision myself?”
Then she said, “Call E. Let’s discuss this some more. You can become dean of administration and E will become dean of farm management.” Eh, ikaw, I countered, you will become the principal/president because you were once a teacher, so you are the qualified one. “We will all become the president,” she affirmed. E nodded in agreement, Okay! I said, Let’s call my siblings and let’s discuss this. It was 11:00am and time to prepare lunch. She was reluctant about the call (her eyebrows come together when she is in doubt) but I kept up the positive tone. Then I left her with E so they could continue talking.
Once the food was ready, we sat down and I opened a video call to our family chat group. While waiting for it to go through, I asked Mama if she remembered what to say to them. When I looked up at her, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Her eyes were back to the dull, glassy look of confusion, and she was shaking her head, No.
The thing is, I knew what it was before it happened and while it was happening, but I couldn’t help feeling happy that, for once, she was making sense, sort of. One of my brothers (J) exclaimed that our late Papa must have been talking to us through Mama and that we should really look into the idea. Well, anything is worth looking into at this time. I just wish Mama had more moments like that, because I am getting tired of answering her repeated questions, but which she keeps forgetting immediately.
For information on Stages of Dementia
Author’s Note: If anyone reading this can relate to what I’m saying, then my decision to write it out is validated.