With so much going on here I nearly forgot a beautiful moment on Sunday evening. We were about to go out for a short walk when Maureen spotted a neighbour across the road in her drive. Maureen knew that Pat had been in hospital, and went across to see how she was. Pat asked us into her place to continue the conversation that was taking place in the cold.
Once inside Pat’s bungalow we continued chatting, and Maureen offered to help Pat in a number of ways. Knowing that Pat lived alone she said if ever she needed anything not to hesitate to ask. Grasping that Pat was unsteady on her feet and had been advised that she should not go out by herself she said that Pat could walk with us whenever she fancied a stroll.
I had bumped into one of Pat’s relatives earlier in the week and sought an update on Pat’s condition. In common with Maureen she has ‘memory issues’ and has been discouraged from going out by herself. Pat looked puzzled when Maureen asked if she had enjoyed Christmas. When we were leaving she had to redirect Maureen out of her bungalow, several times, before she could find her way out. I can’t remember if she is aware that Maureen has dementia but she looked puzzled by Maureen’s behaviour: particularly her tendency to ask the same question several times.
What stands out for me in all this is the beautiful woman that dementia has not stolen completely from us. Beneath her fear and confusion Maureen’s compassion still glows in the dark. I miss Maureen’s warmth and compassion as it not always on offer to that ‘strange man‘ who is often on duty in her ‘Care Home’.