Tuesday 6 December 2016

Anguish of my mother, a woman lost to bewilderment

Few families are spared the tragedy of dementia as a beloved parent slips away into a limbo of confusion, writes John McEntee

Published 03/07/2011 | 05:00

SHE dreams of a cow dung-scented milking parlour. On a three-legged stool, her robust mother sturdily extracts milk from teats into a bucket between her legs. She remembers her mother's staunch refusal to attend her wedding breakfast in Virginia 60 years before.

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Well, she had insisted on marrying a man from the town, thwarting her mother's plan to give her decent dowry to neighbour's child Tommy Tierney with his big nose, baldness and rolling acres.

Her father would object and stand up for her. But he is dead and she is in the fug of dementia. To her, Mammy and Daddy are alive 40 and 50 years after they've gone. More alive than her own children.

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