“There is a way of being wrong which is also sometimes necessarily right.”
~ Edward Abbey
Ah, lovelies, I’m so tired just now.
We’ve been travelling endlessly back and forward between our farm and Brisbane the last two years as one of our elderly family members
Foolishly we thought life would go back to normal a little more. And then she fell.
Since then it has been an endless round of visits to her in the aged home or to be beside her bed on hospital stays where we try to visit daily to ensure that she is eating, and is comfortable and is not frightened or lonely.
Her mind is slipping. She asks us the same few questions over and over. The stories of her youth, once clear and well remembered, are merging into each other. She was a seamstress when she was young. Had loved dancing. Was courted by a young American soldier during the war, but married a local boy who played football with her brothers. We don’t correct her any more when she gets the details wrong. It just upsets her, and us. So we agree with what she says.
Even more than that we actively participate in the space she is in. In recent hospital
When she was delusional and told us she had been walking around (when she was actually lying in a hospital bed rigged up to countless machines and devices) we asked questions about where she went and what she did. Her mind created elaborate
When the nurse came on his rounds, the same one who she said had been sent to torture her earlier in the day (she had thrown things at him, and at his fellow nurses, and threatened to call the police if they didn’t leave her alone), I introduced him as my friend – as someone new – and said he was the best and most caring nurse in the hospital. Suddenly she became polite and compliant and sweet with him. Every lie I spoke was worth it. For her and for us all. It broke my heart to see how trusting she was in what I told her. But it helped and she went to sleep
Last night she was back in
Such beautiful lies. After the doctor left we talked about taking her shopping to buy a new dress or to help me choose one. We talked about Sunday roast lunches at her house and the whole family coming to visit. We talked about her independence when she gets out of the hospital. And none of it is true. And all of it made her smile and helped her settle down and go to sleep.
Such beautiful lies. And we will keep telling them until she goes to her final home, and all the loved ones who are waiting for her. It comforts her, and it comforts us, and that is all that matters.