"I had to take my mom from her home for safety's sake because she was no longer able to be alone and care for herself. "The others in the home, like mom, had to be brought here, unless someone could move in and watch them 24 hours a day. "I pity those who are ill and suffer with pain, but a lot of those old folks are like my mom. The don't suffer - they are senile.
"These are the people who reach out to you as you walk down the hall. Don't pity them because they appear to have no interest in life. They live in a world that is very interesting to them. "My mom sits in a chair doing nothing, but she isn't in the chair at all. She is visiting with her mother, or perhaps she's out to a dance. One day she may be playing with her sister or brother. The next day she may be raising her family, doing her housework, cutting up Fels Naphtha soap.
"Far-fetched? The last time I left her room Mom said happily, 'I'm going to visit mama's today. We're going to have cookies and milk.' "I replied, 'Enjoy yourself - and say hello to grandma.'
"Old age robs people of a great deal but it leaves them the precious gift of memories of days long gone. They are able to recall something that happened 70 years ago, but they can't recall what they had for supper. When you see a very old woman smile for no reason, or nod and greet an imaginary 'friend,' don't think she is crazy. She sees someone you don't see - a loved one from way back.
"Mom doesn't have any stress and strain in her life. She has been through all that. Now is her time to relive her life with pleasure. "We younger people live for today and tomorrow, but mom lives each day in the past. Who is to say that is so unpleasant?
"Many people believe when we die we will be reunited with our loved ones, but my mom has already been reunited with hers. She sees them every day. This is the way I prefer to think and it has helped me to accept this last phase of her life.
"I won't know if I'm right until I, too, reach senility, and when I do, I will probably be too confused to tell others about it. But I hope those who come to visit me will believe as I do. It will make life easier for everyone. -