"People don’t change. They only stand more revealed."
Charles, I couldn’t agree more.
As I observe my parents, my friends and especially myself as I get older, I see the absolute truth of that statement. The quirks, and neuroses, the prejudices, all become more and more pronounced. Just ask my husband. We are all becoming parodies of ourselves.
So what has Alzheimer’s, the great stripper away of social convention and ultimate revealer, shown me about the essential nature of my mum? Basically; she is a really nice person. She smiles, she laughs, she compliments people, and she gets on with everyone. All her carers love her.
And she is obsessed with draughts, being cold, and removing the labels from clothes.
She admires beauty. Constantly stopping to tell young woman how gorgeous they are in the street. Which I hope they take as a compliment, and not stranger danger.
She can admire the same roses in her neighbour’s garden with fresh passion each day – a new experience and a new joy each time she forgets.
She likes children. Admiring their cuteness, smiling and touching strangers’ children in cafes and shops. Whilst calling mine a ‘rascal’, which is true, but I wish she could focus her affection a little close to home.
But essentially Alzheimer’s has revealed her to be a good person. And in contradiction to the bouts of depression she suffered in earlier life, a happy one. A positive force. I know that Alzheimer’s can make people aggressive and angry in its later stages, which must be incredibly distressing, but as yet we have been spared.
When I search my soul; I wonder what will be revealed. I hope I am like my mum.