Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dementia Epiphany

I was in the shower the other day and I had an epiphany about dementia.  I thought about it in a way I'd never considered.

We always think of dementia in terms of being a terrible disease that robs a person of their mind.  I look at someone like Mom and think because her memories are mixed up that there is something wrong with her.

But I have this theory that the eternal spirit sees things all at once.  Linear time is how things appear to us in mortality, but I believe God sees things all at once.  Past, present, and future are all one.  For example, when my dad wrote love letters to my mom in 1958, God knew I would read them in 2013 because time does not exist.  I don't know how to explain it, but I know when I had a very revelatory experience, that's what I sensed and felt.  I could see things all at once.  Time didn't exist.

And as I've thought about this, I think, "What if what appears to us as a scrambling of memories and experiences is simply the inability of a mortal body to see things as the eternal spirit naturally sees them?"  Maybe as a person ages and gets closer to the end of his or her mortal life, the spirit's natural way of seeing things becomes more pronounced, but the mortal body can't process it, and so to the outside observer, it appears that there is something wrong. 

But what if what we view as disease in mortality is actually how an enlightened mind thinks normally?  What if the weakness we deem in my mother is actually a strength?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well, but it just gave me a different perspective on what we view as a disease.

Speaking of Mom, here's today's nugget:

I called Mom up, and I said, "How's it going?"

"I'm in a very bad mood," she grumbled.

"Uh-oh, what's wrong?" I asked.

"I'm sick of people butting into things that are none of their damn business," she responded.  [Mom is not a swearer, by the way.]

"Oh, what happened?"

"Well, I have this friend, and he's really old, and he's in my room, and we're just talking. I don't know what they think we're doing, but they want me to leave my door open, and I don't want to leave my door open. It's none of their damn business!

"I don't know if they think we're making out or what. We're just talking! I've kissed him before, but it's like he's my father. He's really old. We're just friends. And if the door is open, anybody can hear our conversation, and it's none of their damn business. I'm in a really bad mood...but I love you."

"Well, that's good."

"When I hang up with you, I'm going to close my door, and if they open it again, I'm just going to close it. It's my room, and it's none of their damn business what we're doing in there."

And yes, folks, she did say "none of their damn business" several times. I didn't try to fight it; I don't think it would have done any good.


LCannon said...

I don't believe that Harold is really old enough to be her father. I think it's funny that she sees him as being so much older.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Oh, I don't either. I think it's funny that she sees everyone else as soooo much older than her. True, she is one of the younger ones there, but it's not like everyone else is ancient compared to her.

LCannon said...

I like your analogy more each time I read it. Of course I know it doesn't apply to all, but as mom, Don and Lynn all had dimentia and all three havesince passed on, I take more comfort in this epiphany than to believe that there may have been something in the water.