As I previously mentioned, I had the opportunity to stay with my mother five days a week due to her complications with dementia. She was in a car accident when I was three years old, but has been able to live a normal life until a little over a year ago. Her life is an example of how keeping one’s mind active can benefit one’s life. I learned – and am still learning – so much from this persistent woman. It is breaking my heart see her decline each day, and I treasure the good days. One of the ways I cope is by writing and by laughter. A sense of humor is much needed, even though I know this is a horrible disease.
With that being said, I would like to share a “Mama” story with you.
Mama grew up on a farm and learned to shoot a gun from her father. She can still shoot a gun with pinpoint accuracy. With dementia and some horror stories from our seniors at George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe about dementia and guns, Mom’s gun came up missing.
I learned that one person’s father, who had dementia, held a gun to her son’s head!
All I could think about was going downstairs to get something to drink and getting blown away. My mom’s gun had to go! I had no choice but to exercise my right as her Power of Attorney and seize the gun. She didn’t notice for six months, but when she did, I suffered her wrath and had to confess so the sheriff wouldn’t be called.
About two months later my son Joseph noticed some suspicious activity in our neighborhood, and I took my mom with me to the sheriff’s department for advice. We were led into the detective’s office and discussed options. While we were brainstorming, my dear mother chimed in, saying that she could protect the house if she had her gun but her daughter stole it, all while shaking her finger firmly and angrily at me!
The detective looked at me and I smiled back with a look that said, “Go ahead, get the handcuffs – I’m exhausted!”
He then shifted in his seat, looked straight to my mother and said, “I think she made a wise decision.”
Whew! You have to have a sense of humor!