I remember a conversation I had recently. With tears in her eyes, the person told me that her mother could no longer carry on a conversation – she could still talk, but not comprehend what was being said to her. She told me that all she can do now is listen as her mother rambles on and on. I remember when my Mama was at that stage of dementia. My heart breaks for those who go through this. There is no right way and it is never easy.
As discouraging as it might seem to no longer be able to have a meaningful discussion or even simply chat about this and that, it is even more daunting to wish you could hear a single word. Mama, who is at the final stage of dementia, has been silent for over a year now. I would love to hear her voice again.
This is not simply advice for loved ones with dementia as other illnesses also take them away sooner than we want. A friend of my told of the bittersweet time she had while her mother spent her last days on earth. One of the sweet things she took away from that time was a recording from her mom. Anytime she wants or needs to, she can listen to that recording and remember.
I got to thinking about words. Words are great. Words hold so much power—so much potential for both good and evil. Kind words are gifts we can give each other; to our spouses, family, and friends.
If someone had told me that it would be a good idea to record my Mama’s voice while she still had speech, I might have. I’d like to think I would have, but it’s hard to say when looking back what you might or might not have done. Even though I didn’t, I still have hope that I will come across and old VHS or cassette tape that she is on.
I wish I had a recording of Mama’s voice from the days when she could still talk. But though I don’t have her voice, I still have her and I give her the gift of hearing my voice as often as I am able.
Note: Most phones come with a voice recorder app, but in case you don’t have one, try Voice Recorder by Green Apple Studio – it’s a free app and works on either an iPhone or an Android.