Something I wrote with my dear friend Dodie and her Mom in mind, also for the people suffering with this disease.
My Dear Daughter,
The Doctor just left my room and told me some disturbing news, it seems I’ve let a visitor in and he doesn’t want to leave. They call him Dementia, a strange name if you ask me. (His parents must have been from that “free love” era.) I know you warned me about letting people in, but my visitors have been very scarce and I just wanted to have some company. I should have listened to you because the doctor says that once he comes to visit, he makes me his home and eventually takes over. Quite rude and shouldn’t be allowed, but they say there is nothing they can do to control him. I was told that if I write things down it can help when Dementia starts packing up my life, and it will put him to sleep for awhile. At this point I’ll try anything, so I wanted to write to you before everything gets packed away.
I think I’ve been here in my new place for about a month now, and the people here are really nice. They take very good care of me, but don’t seem to have time for sit for tea. But Dementia came and asked me for a cup and you know me, I opened my door and asked him to have a seat. You’ve been here to my new place right? He sat in my favourite chair and we talked for hours. I told him about when you were little and how beautiful you were. Your hair was so long and your brown eyes so big. I told him how you are the sparkle in my eye, how much I love you, and that you really are my pride and joy. You know that too, I’m sure. I haven’t seen you for a while so I don’t know if I’ve told you that lately. Anyway, Dementia believed my love for you, and opened up a box right in my room. I asked him what he was doing but he just continued to pack up your pictures and place them neatly in the box. When he was done, he said he was putting my pride and joy safely away for when I move. I didn’t want to be rude as I was enjoying his company; he is a really good listener. He is very easy to talk to, he never rushes me, never tells me I’m wrong and I don’t remember. He never corrects me and just lets me ramble.
Every time we talk, Dementia opens another box and puts my very precious items in it, labels it and takes it away. I don’t understand why he is taking me away box by box, and I don’t understand why he is the only one that visits anymore. He is making my room quite empty, and I can’t seem to recall the stuff he’s taken. I do know that I don’t want his company anymore, but he just keeps coming back. I ask the people that come into my room to remove him, but they just look at me with empty eyes and blank looks as though I haven’t said a word. It’s hard because these people are new to me every day so they don’t know me and maybe that’s why they can’t help. There is one girl that looks just like you, and I feel so hopeful when I see her.
I must hurry as I think I hear Dementia coming down the hall, he stops at a few of my friends rooms too so I only have a few moments left. I don’t know when I’ll see you again, so I ask you now for help. I know you’re busy and that you love me, but would it be okay if you asked Dementia to stop his visits, and kindly ask him for my boxes back? Don’t be rude of course; he seems to pack things up faster when you raise your voice. I wonder if you don’t come to see me anymore because my room is so bare and cold. I do not like it either, but he seems to think he needs my possessions more than I. I promise if you can get Dementia to stop, it will be more enjoyable to visit, easier to give me a hug, and less of a hassle to just sit and listen. I’m sorry for what I’ve done, if I could change it I would.
He’s here for the last two things I hold precious, my love for you and the rest of my life. He said I can give him one or the other...I’m sorry but I couldn’t let him pack away my love for you and made the decision he could take the other. You’ll find my love for you tucked inside your heart, hold it tight, and don’t tell Dementia where I left it.