My mother is 80 years old, going 81 in a few months . She loves to say she’s 81 now. I don’t know why. She is a petite lady, comparing to my tall figure. She is about 150 cm tall. She likes to ask me taking things from a high shelf where I could reach without using a chair, then she would say “ Wow, you’re so tall apparently.” I guess she’s still amazed to know I am much taller than she is.
Lately, there are many things that amaze her, as if she sees it for the first time ever. It has been going on for few months now and I have had a talk with her that she should be more aware about things around her as I think she is journeying into the old age’s stage of life ; forgetfulness.
I am just thinking to myself that she is getting a mild dementia . Talking into her to see a doctor about this is useless . She knows that this happens to all the old people in the world and she has seen some of her families experienced this stage. She is aware of her condition and she tries to do daily routine , move around a lot, walking our two dogs every morning and afternoon around the neighborhood, and cooking.
She is a great cook and I love everything that she cooks. But she is worse in baking (lol). Never in her life she’s ever baked a cake, though I know my grandmother and many of my aunts are great bakers, but not my mother. Thank God that she still cooks well and has not forgotten yet all the complicated spices used in a dish.
I remember about a quote saying, often a good will come out from a bad. Deep deep in my heart I am worried and sad about my mother, but the way she joyfully enjoys her days, eases my worry. And like the quote, I learn something good on how my mother forgets things.
Around our neighborhood, there are many plant and flower street sellers, occupy empty lands along the streets that have not been used for house building. On Sundays when we go to church or sometimes we just drive to a hypermart in the shopping centre of the area ,we will pass through the street sellers.
One day, my mother spotted some blooming red roses and exclaimed happily, “ Look, they are beautiful , aren’t they ?” Then she eagerly talked about how the roses were so gorgeous and what the nurseryman did to have that kind of roses. She said she was not good in gardening.
Since I drive slowly, I could spot the roses, too. Yes, they are beautiful. I didn’t think about that event till the next time we drove through the area again and my mother said the same thing about the red roses, which they were still there and still blossomed. I said lightly that she had seen the roses few days before but my mother insisted that this was the first time she saw them. First, I tried to argue her and explained to her when was the last time we drove through the street and saw the roses , but in her vivid look, she defended her logic.
I thought, well, it’s not a good thing to argue about. So I left my mother with her own thought. By the time, she was forgetting other things as well. And she would repeatedly say things she just said minutes before.
It happened again and again every time we drove through the area where the roses were still there. I could see that every time my mother spotted the roses , it’s like it’s the first time she saw them. Then it came to my mind. Why should I be annoyed at the way she sees things nowadays. Why should not I do the same, see things as it’s my first ; eagerly, be amazed, find a secret surprise in them , get the spirit pumped out with excitement of knowing something new , like my mother does.
And from that new perceiving , an appreciation arises . I value more to things around me, refresh my mind that I can encounter a new thing every day, things that I might have taken for granted previously, like that red roses.
My mother might have been walking into her own world, a world where one day I could not get into and be with her, but for today, I take hold her hands and let her eyes be mine, to look at the world around differently.