I remember growing up where sitting down to a meal was the norm. When it was my turn to set the table you know with plates, silverware, glasses and even napkins. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it (oh and since I set the table that meant I didn’t have to clear or do the dishes…best part ever) As you grow up having meals together change. You go off on your own to college or move out things just change. When I married and we had kids I tried to keep the setting the table and being together, but things change we still eat together, but the table has other things on it so we find a places to sit and lose some of that closeness we had when the kids where younger. Boy the things you think of when you are meaning to share something else, but realize to yourself setting the table and having meals all together really means more then just eating. So that leads me into what I wanted to share about how special sitting down to a meal is…
As you know things have been changing for me and my mom with the dementia. I seem to learn something new everyday about how this thing effects others so differently, but some things the same. So one of those things it does is in how those with dementia eat, drink, etc. They often say I am not hungry even though they haven’t had anything to eat all day, drinking is similar too, but with not drinking that can lead to so many other things as well. It is amazing how fluid fixes moods, health, etc… It is a biggy! Well onto my sharing… last week I made my trip to see my mom and stopped at a few places to pickup fresh produce and a few other things as well. Then saw my mom and we talked like we do and then asked if she was hungry and wanted something to eat. I was all prepared that she would say no I am ok, but she didn’t she said, “I could eat something” I am excited since I had a meal in mind that I knew she would love or at least she use to love you just don’t know, but this time I was right! We talked and she helped and then we sat down together and had our meal together. I was so happy to see her eat everything and even opted for more…mind you I didn’t say anything about how she was eating since I didn’t want to discourage her from doing so, it just made me so happy that she was eating.
You know as I am going on this journey with my mom I don’t know what or how she is feeling on the inside which is so hard since I see on the outside how it seems to affect her. I have things I tell myself all the time “she is still your mother don’t baby her” (which at times you know is hard human instinct and all) then I say “that is not your mother” (you know why I say this too at times it really isn’t her it is the dementia) also I say “I love my mom no matter what” hugs and you see it in her eyes those are the best along with the I love you’s as well. My other main thing I say to myself is “With God’s help we will get thru this together and enjoy every moment you have with your mom either it good or either it bad because one day it will come that she won’t remember me at all and I will be just that person who takes care of her until she is taken to be with God and not be in pain any more” yes this one is a biggy, but it goes thru my mind a lot especially when things may not be going so well.
So I hope what you take away from this is to sit down together where ever you can if its next to your loved one in a hospital bed, at a table, couch, etc… sit and have a meal, or just talk, enjoy your time together and just love that time together as long as you can. Make those times count may they be ever so simple and keep those memories with you always. Blessings to you my friends!