Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What is my core?

The thing I fear most for myself is dementia. More than illness, more than poverty, more than death even. It is dementia. The absolute incapacitation, the dependence, the being trapped in myself. And so far, I have told myself that it is because I don't want to be a burden to those that love me. I don't want to suck their lives into my care. I don't want them to pay the price of having loved what I once was.

But  now I am asking myself if that is what motivates my fear.

I know a woman with dementia. She once was a woman who sang and danced and charmed everyone who came into her life. Now, like the Cheshire Cat, she has faded away till all that is left is her smile. But what a smile that is! A smile for everyone sees and a warm clasp of the hand. Mian and I can spend  hours holding hands with this  warm woman and reflecting her smile.

I know other people suffering from this too. And no, dementia does not transform everyone into smiling beings. Mostly it is paranoia that presents itself; sometimes anger, sometimes regrets.

Maybe this  is what scares me. If I were to fade away, how sure can I be that the last thing that is left of me is a smile?

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