The Struggle

 

“I’ll kill them all! We should just go home and shoot them! They don’t love me, no they love you, they think you’re an angel and that I’m a rat. Well I think you’re the rat!”

It was the saddest thing to listen to as I sat in the Orthopedic office, waiting for my mom to fill out the paperwork. As I listened to an older woman struggle with Dementia.

Her husband sat next to her, his back in a brace, on crutches. His face was wrinkled and kind seemed etched upon it. As he walked in, the writer in me examined him and I thought he seems really nice. I wasn’t proven wrong.

In walked in his wife, frantically gripping his arm, her eyes showed how afraid she was. Why are they leaving us? Why are they leaving? Oh my gosh they’re never coming back! They’ve left us! She looked at him asking these questions, almost yelling, yet he stayed calm.

Honey, they’ll be back. We have a doctor’s appointment. I promise they’ll be back.

She kept yelling. She called him things he should have never been called. She cursed her family. She was afraid of the restroom, afraid of drinking water. She was afraid of us. She didn’t know where she was, though he told her multiple times.

And then she looked at me. Clutching my mom’s purse I tried not to look at her, but I could see she was glaring at me almost angrily.

She cried. She almost threw up.

She’d forgotten who she was. I’m sure once she was lovely and sweet. That she and her husband were happily married, that she dreamed of her daughter getting married and having grandchildren.

And it broke my heart. To watch someone forget themselves. To watch her husband struggle with her, because he still loves her.

As my mom took me back, I took one last glimpse at them and I smiled at the old man, and he smiled back. His eyes kind and sweet. I smiled at her, and for one second, her kindness shone and she smiled back.

 

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