Clinging to it almost as if her life depended on it, she held it close to her heart. A much treasured possession. I was surprised that she recognised the person in the photograph. For most of the past year she barely recognised me.
A month earlier, her dementia was so deeply ingrained that she could barely communicate. When she tried, all she could manage were a few stammering words that made no sense. Now and again, her furrowed brows and look of confusion would be a sign that she didn’t know who I was. I had to remind her that I was her youngest daughter.
Then she had a heart attack. Her heart attack was miraculous in more ways than one. She not only survived the heart attack, it was as if she went back to being the person she used to be before the dementia. Recovering in hospital she began to talk a little more each day.
When she came home from the hospital I would read the bible to her each morning. She listened intently and occasionally corrected my pronunciation.
Her words though few, were clear and concise. She recognised me, she knew I was her daughter. To encourage her memory, I placed photographs of her family and friends around her room.
One day she pointed to a small, black and white photograph sitting on the cabinet at the end of her bed. When I handed it to her she looked at it closely. She held the photo to her lips kissing it and exclaimed “That’s my Mother”. Clinging to it almost as if her life depended on it, she held it close to her heart.