Friday, November 2, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 3

"Hello, Papa. I'm Synthia."
"Hello. Mhm."
"Are you doing well today?"
"That's wonderful. I'm so glad."
Dad's wife: "Let's drink some Terere (cold tea)?" 
Dad: "Yes, let's. Would you go and set some up?"
His wife: "Sure."
Meanwhile Dad was already holding the guampa (cup) in his hands. He handed it back to his wife. She held it for a bit, then gave it back to him. 
After trying a few times, he sipped it empty and handed it back to her. 
The Terere made its rounds, and sometimes Dad would drink his, sometimes he would give it back untouched. 
He would eat the snacks his wife handed him with great pleasure. She gives him snacks not only for reasons of food intake, but also that he will get thirsty and drink. Otherwise he refuses to drink.

We had been there about 20 min. when Dad turned to my sister and said quite excitedly: "Synthia wants to come." 
I couldn't help but smile. I don't know why, but I find that even in the state he's in, Dad is kind of cute. Childlike, at times, if you will.
My sister: "Yes, in fact she is already here."
Dad: "She is?"
Sister: "Yes. She's sitting right next to you."
Me: "Hi, Papa." smiling at him.
He turns to me: "Hi!"
Right then I could see it in his eyes that yes, my Papa knew I was there. My heart skipped a beat as I held back tears of joy. For just a moment I saw MY Papa. 

The so called conversation went all over the place, sometimes it made sense to us, sometimes only to him. But he seemed content that day. It was a good day.