I Can’t Find It

Word of the Day Challenge: MIND

Which brings to my mind an incident my daughter told me about:


My daughter was doing her cleaning job at a local nursing home when she noticed one of the elderly residents wandering around, obviously looking for something. Every now and then he’d mutter, “I just can’t find it.”

Finally our daughter thought maybe she could help him find it, so she touched his arm and asked him, “What are you looking for, sir?”

“I’m looking for my mind,” he told her. “I’ve lost my mind and I can’t find it.”

She suppressed the urge to laugh, for the Alzheimer patient was quite serious. Right at that moment he had enough sense to realize he couldn’t grasp the information he needed and this was prompting him to search for his missing marbles.

One lady from our church began getting mixed up and forgetting things, when she was in her mid 60s. She realized this and was dismayed because she could see what was coming; Alzheimer’s was in her family genetics. And the disease did come. She lived about ten years without her memory, though a few flashes came through now and then. She lost her power of speech later on; during her last few years she was bed-fast and helpless.

With dementia it seems like the brain connections become loose and the current doesn’t flow through anymore. Once in awhile there will be a spark travel from the eyes or ears to the brain and make connection; they’ll recognize a face or a familiar song will touch a chord. The person who maybe hasn’t spoken for years suddenly joins in and sings along. A moment later they can’t remember where they are, or even who they are.

Last spring a relative, who was fine when her daughter saw her that day, went to bed as usual and died in her sleep. Her daughter thinks death was caused by an aneurysm, but the mom got her wish to go quickly and with no fuss, never a burden to anyone. Which is the way we all want to go: in fairly good health and with a clear mind.

8 thoughts on “I Can’t Find It

      1. it is a morbid thought but it did make me think that catching covid might offer that. Declining would be over a month rather than several years. I mean, obviously it would be premature, but every death is premature. As I say, morbid, but I am prone to think of these things since my stroke.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Catching COVID may bring on a premature death, but there are far, far worse ways to die — or to linger for years, physically alive but helpless and mentally gone. Naturally a person does think of these things when you’ve been afflicted or suffered along with someone who’s been afflicted.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Alzheimer’s is a thief that robs us of everything that makes us who we are. It’s horrible. I did one year of practicum in a nursing home, working on the social services end of things with residents and their families. It’s hard to watch the family, who are watching their loved one slowly disappear right before their eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda. It is indeed distressing, going in, hoping your parent will recognize you, and have them ask, “Do I know you?” Or to be disappointed when a spouse stares at you blankly.
      And there’s the question of how much truth to tell the loved one. One family, in response to their mom’s “where’s Dad? Didn’t he come?” told their mom a number of times that “Dad’s gone.” They didn’t want to lie to her, but every time she heard this “news”, their mom grieved all over again. They were so happy when she got it into her head that “Dad’s out in the shop working right now.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Everyone thinks that — including me. 🙂
      I know we want to be careful and not overwhelm the health care system with sick people, but I’ve said it before: there are a lot worse ways to die than from COVID-19. My Dad developed a cancerous tumor in his sinus and it made an awful mess of his face.

      Liked by 1 person

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