The Mirror.

I held Ingrid’s hand as we walked down the hallway to her room. Ingrid did not speak much, and when she did, her sentences were short and simple.

I was not sure how much she understood, but it was always easy to coax a smile out of her. 

Ingrid was pleasant and peaceful. Most days, Ingrid spent her time picking up objects from one room and taking them to another. Her own room was a treasure trove of lamps, stuffed animals, and anything else she found interesting.

Ingrid was able to toilet mostly without assistance, but she needed cueing. I helped her get to the toilet and helped her get her pants down. She used the bathroom, and then I helped her move to the sink. 

I turned on the water and she began doing the same thing she’d been doing for decades: washing her hands with soap and water and looking at her own face in the mirror. She finished up and I handed her a towel to dry her hands.

Ingrid continued to look quietly at her own reflection.

“What do you think, Ingrid?” I asked, pointing to the mirror.

She gave a short laugh. “Pitiful,” she said.

“Pitiful?” I repeated. “Why pitiful?”

“My hair…is old,” she said, with a small smile of acknowledgement, now looking down at her shoes.

“I think it looks beautiful,” I smiled back.

Ingrid gave another quick, jovial laugh and finished drying her hands. She turned from the sink and walked out of the bathroom with me by her side.

Published by rachaelwonderlin

www.dementia-by-day.com

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