The Seventh Age

W. Brookfield MA – My life has taken a new turn. My mother’s health has been a concern for the past year or so, and to this date my brother here in MA has been the one seeing to her care. However, it’s now to the point where having just one available caretaker is no longer sustainable. So my wife and I have made the decision to shut down our own house and move in with my brother to offer him some assistance. It is not going to be easy; a week has gone by and already her need for constant attention has taken its toll on sleep.

I don’t intend to offer a blow-by-blow narrative of what she’s up against. Right now the two greatest challenges are her dementia and some mini-strokes she’s been having. Her sense of day and night is almost non-existent, and she has no set discernible schedule. All she wants to do is sleep, and it is hard to get her to do much of any activity. She has clearly slipped into Shakespeare’s seventh and last age – “second childhood and mere oblivion; sans teeth, sans taste, sans eyes, sans everything.”

I suspect I will be a different person at the other end of this. Where the other end is, is impossible to tell at the moment. My mantra has become the Zen mantra of a statement that, every time it’s spoken, it’s true – “This, too, shall pass.”  -twl