The difference between Puberty and Dementia

This morning I am told “I don’t understand why, when things are dirty, you need to wash them.”

While this came out of the mouth of my ten-year old daughter, I realized that at any moment I might get the same statement from one of my parents, most likely my dad. He’s been wearing the same clothes over and over and my mom has been encouraging him to get the sweater to the cleaner and go a little deeper into his closet.

My 2013 resolution was for more patience. I’ve talked about it so much that I think my daughter’s resolution would be for me to not talk so much about this resolution.

I got to try out my resolve when my daughter poses this question to me. I was pleased that I was able to get her jacket washed and ready overnight. So the conversation started with me patting myself on the back “Yeah, your coat is clean. It’s ready for you by the front door. ”

I didn’t get back a “thank you” which of course is what I was wanting … but I get back “I don’t understand why, when things are dirty, you need to wash them.”

Humility, patience … the things you need to employ when you deal with a parent who has dementia is also a grace-giving skill when you apply it to the tween who is going to repay to me every unkind word I unfurled on my mother. Deserved. 

2 thoughts on “The difference between Puberty and Dementia

  1. I am so touched by your compasionate candidness and your ability to blog in such a real and revealing way. Certainly you are gifted for the task the Lord put on your heart through caring for your parents. I am so glad to have found you again after 30 years. As I read your blogs I am comforted in the knowing that I am not alone and that all the changes that are affecting my mother are indeed a part of her physical deterrioration and not one of her deterrioration of affection (the latter one tends to take personally). Thank you my dear friend, you challenge me to apply the same grace I will want some day from my daughter and loved ones.

    Ileana Martinez
    San Juan, PR

    1. Thanks Illy! We are in the midst of some major issues so I’ve been a little quiet until we move through the first crush of the pending changes. He continues to provide me with what I need to help my parents — some of my problem is knowing when to ask and how — still working on that!

      xo, Kay

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