My mother’s bar was so high I lowered my standards. I grew up knowing that I would never fit her mold. Somewhere along the line and very early in my life I stopped trying. As a teenager I pushed her with all of the defiance my battered psyche could muster. Finally, as an adult, I see that the faults she found in me were merely a reflection of what she saw as fault in herself.
Eat less, smile more. Make sure you always wait for the gentleman to call, ask you out and open the door. Chuckle don’t laugh, ladies aren’t loud. Always wear dresses. No, that one is too short people will see your knees. I don’t see you advancing your career, you can’t hold a job in one place any more than five years. What will my friends think? What will they say? How can I make you as pretty as me? As thoughtful as me? As respectful as me?
Genetics has made me a carbon copy of her. Fortunately, I also had a Daddy who thought I was perfect just being me. You won’t see me cover my knees because hers were not pleasing to her own sight. My nose and cheeks do not have too many blood vessels and the ones I have are not too bright. The porcelain skin she would require is a Disney feature special to her and meaningless to me. I will cry and laugh out loud, I will sing off-key and dance.
Someone wishes to critique my writing? Please, be my guest. Your brutal honesty is all I ask for. As long as one point is perfectly clear. Do not make your criticism of me a reflection of what you dislike about yourself. I am on to that game, and no matter the passive aggressive delivery, I will artfully dodge and roll away.
Dr. A was part of something amazing, cutting edge and little tried. Having looked at the literature he was supplied, he agreed to prescribe a medication used for one ailment (coughing) as relief of another (pba episodes associated with dementia)….and it worked!
Annie had a special PBA. When she wanted to say something she stuttered with the sound of a bleating sheep. When she was anxious it was worse and even at rest the sound would come out every few seconds.
“Baaa-ah-ah, Bah, Bah.”
Other residents were annoyed by her sounds. Her partner Bill and the staff were frustrated, knowing she wanted, but not knowing what she wanted. I did very well at getting our Annie and I could calm her down rather quickly having learned her cues. After reading an article about Alzheimer’s dementia I bought Annie a baby doll. When she was anxious the doll would calm her instantly because she would concentrate on taking care of the baby. Who, by the way, was very real to Annie.
There was little or no waiting involved at all for the newly prescribed medication to work. Practically overnight Annie was talking albeit haltingly and the PBA was mostly GONE. Twelve days into the new medication her dosage was leveled and with no provocation she said my name. Calling me clear as a bell. I still get emotional remembering that afternoon. For sometime she was able to say what she wanted or needed. She said my name a lot and I adored hearing her call. One day she and a staff member named the baby doll Emily. The name was Annie’s choice and she never wavered on her decision. We wrote Emily’s name on a heart sewn to her outfit. She stayed on Annie’s bed waiting to be needed and loved. Annie liked to sort puzzle pieces and keep her hands busy.
While in the coming months the effects of her prescription would no longer work it bought time for us. We learned her likes and dislikes, we learned how to comfort her and calm her. Annie’s niece and nephew both had a chance to have one last visit with the aunt they adored. The AD dementia took over again, both stronger and faster. Hospice was called in and she was allowed to live out her days doing whatever pleased her. She slept when she wanted, was awake when she wanted, and ate comfort foods as long as she would. While I was still working there she would sit at her place in the dining room and watch me work. She did now and then call my name. Mostly when she wanted something or for assurance.
She passed away last week, my Annie. Her time here was through. Now there is another angel watching over us. Annie will be a great angel. She was caring, loved her family and friends. She was fun and while I never knew her as a young woman I could see that laughter was the key for her. It was in the pictures her family brought. It was in the stories they shared with me. It was in our daily life together. Many, many times, even in the grips of her dementia, she would try to make me laugh by doing little things there in the view from my office door, while she sat with Bill doing a puzzle or talking to Emily when Bill became frustrated at the same puzzle for the umpteenth time. I will not miss my Annie. She taught me more about pure love than anyone else in this life and the times we had together will be forever part of who I am because at my best or at my worst her comment was always the same….
“Aww, I love ya.”
When you are thinking of me the feelings come through. Maybe not at that moment in time but they do. There is space to travel, time to bend and feelings to capture and recapture along the way. I react to your thoughts of me and it causes me to think of you. I miss you. When you are thinking of me the feelings come through and they bring with them longing and futility in need, both mine. When you are thinking of me the feelings come through. Finding them mid-air makes me sad. I do not want the feelings, I want you. Stop sending the thought of me out into the World, is a drastic plea to be made. Considering you are not hearing my plea to be seen, it is the only recourse left to be. I keep trying not to think of you and I poorly don’t succeed. Perhaps the key it lies with you. All locked within your need. Please play fair and pay the fee of using me. Hand forth the feelings (flesh and real) fulfilling both our needs. For thought of me may be game and gauge to you of how you heal; to me they are floating free to be captured from the wind on wings. With no arms to soothe me they have no substance, only need again it be mine. If having only days of imagery is good for you, consider please the power as it affects my id…and send respect to have the care of crazy as it is…
For Simply Naka, it starts here. Hello Word Press, thanks for making a room for me. I am a woman living a crazy life, in a World made of madness. You dear readers will be subjected to my ambitions, dreams, creative writings, experimental plans, family stories, daily happenings of interest, opinions and views. Sometimes I will be happily celebrating life and others will see me serious, sad or grieving. Good, Bad and Ugly…the real me, Simply Naka…putting it out there because maybe what I am doing in this life really does matter, to someone, somewhere. Perhaps that smile offered will help lift a sad heart. Maybe a thought will inspire a dream to become a reality. Likely I will never know and that’s okay because the reasons for my writings and the reasons for you give time to reading them will be personal to us and us alone.