Mum doesn’t really have a present. She is not strong enough to do anything in the present. When she looks at her present there is confusion, discomfort and dissatisfaction. I can sometimes stimulate an interest in colours or textures in her surroundings, but this will depend on how awake she is. She also does not have a future. She is not going to get better or suddenly stop being at the end of her life. Her only future is more of the same and eventually to die. Sometimes her awareness of this causes her to resent that I do have a present, so I avoid talking about things in my life – though she is always happy to hear what the boys are doing. All she has that is interesting and enlivening is a rich and creative past.
On Tuesday she was sleepy for the first half of my visit and not really with me. Then she suddenly asked me whether ’ö-Dzin still cycled to work everyday. I was then able to talk to her about her memories of cycling when she was younger. This led to other memories and a conversation was born. It was wonderful to watch her becoming more animated through the stimulus of remembering, and as she became more alert she became more comprehensible.