I was told early on that dolls are often the best thing you can make available to a woman with dementia.
The maternal instinct seems to be eternal. Many women, and sometimes even men, find great comfort in holding and caring for their dolls?
Two dolls at Circle Center Adult Day Care have my mom’s name on them. They are hers and hers alone. Everyone at the Center knows and respects that.
I call them Mom’s Kids.
Mom’s Kids are wide awake and waiting in her big soft chair for her every morning. And, they are in her arms every evening when I come to take Mom home.
We have the same conversation every evening. Mom wants to take her kids home, and I suggest they spend the night there. She wants to know if they will have supper and a bed. After several assurances, she gives the OK and we are off.
I secretly call Mom’s Kids Nel and Tom named for my sister and me. The four of us are made from the same cloth and all of us have spent plenty of quality time in those arms of hers on the receiving end of her hugs and kisses. There is nothing like them.
And, speaking for the four of us, there is no one like our Mom. Those permanent smiles on all of Mom’s Kids’ faces, mine included, are a testament to that.
One thing’s for sure, Mom still has her mother’s instinct. I guess a mother’s love is almost impossible to take away.
Today, Mom and I had the following conversation on the drive home from Circle Center.
Me: Mamma, Mamma!
Me: You are my Mamma, Mamma! Did you know that? My very own little Mamma, Mamma!
Mom: I have known that for a long time.
Me: Do you know how much I love you, Mom? One million tons! That is one heaping heavy load of love!
Mom: Well, I love you! I have always loved you. I have loved you forever … still do.
You always do the right thing instead of nothing.
You don’t spit and you don’t hit.
You know dirty words, but you don’t say them very much.
Me: (Thinking to myself, damn!) Mom, when I was baby, was I big or little?
Mom: You were just the right size. You were perfect perfection.
You did everything right, every time. Still do.
Me: Love you, Mamma Mamma.
Mom: I love you! I have always loved you.
Me: (Two hands on the wheel and one permanent smile on my face.)