Friday, December 3, 2010

The Wisdom of Forgetfulness

My mother lives with Alzheimer's in an assisted living community in a small town in the Southwest of France. My daughter and I are visiting her right now. Last night at dinner she surprised us with another pearl of wisdom:

"Il faut prendre les choses comme elles viennent. Il n' y a rien d' autre a faire."
You've got to take things as they come. There is nothing else to do.

While the illness has taken away my mother's ability to function in the so-called normal world, it has also blessed her with the gift of forgetfulness. No longer remembering to be anxious as she used to. No longer fretting about small things. No longer forgetting to live in the present moment.


  1. C'est complètement vrai Margeurite qu'est-ce que votre mère avait dit. C'est incroyable mais vrai, même si ils ont le dementie,ils ont des moments avec des pensées très clair et precis.
    Je travaille avec des anciens combattants dans une hôpital pour les anciens combattants et j'ai aussi vecu des moments comme ca avec mon grand-père.
    Be Well,

  2. Merci, BD. Thank you for your comment and for your work with veterans.

    Our minds do not do well with the various shades of greys that best describe the conditions of those living with illnesses such as dementia. I found not one person lives the same way with the illness. The progression of the illness is also not linear, but rather more like a spiral.

    It is important to keep our minds open and fresh to the reality of the moment. Many times, we may be surprised.