It is NOW.
It is always now, and there is nothing else but now.
It's always now for all of us, of course, but the forever now-ness of Mom's world is something I had never contemplated before.
Dementia means that the flowers I brought her an hour ago are now forgotten. She sees the flowers again, but they remind her of nothing.
The bad news of her sister's passing is also forgotten.
She can no longer remember how to bathe or toilet alone.
The indignity of needing help for her hygiene is quickly forgotten.
She has always been a picky eater. I mean SOOOO picky.
That doesn't matter anymore. If she enjoyed the food, she relishes it for the moment and forgets it. If she didn't like it, she forgets that quickly and eats it anyway.
She has lost her independence,
but she lives in the moment and so there is nothing to adjust to.
She has lost the power of her own stubborn will,
but she feels like a houseguest in the home and so is generally compliant and yielding.
Her world narrows down to a few things. They are important, basic, primal things: food, warmth, kindness, a warm smile.
She isn't fully present in any moment, but neither is she distracted or troubled. Sometimes she is petulant, or playful, or passive. She can be ornery. She can be sweet. No matter her mood, she simply IS.
For the time being, she simply is.