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Mom and Politics

2015-5-19-jane

In honor of Election Day, I’ll tell you a story about Mom and politics

People ask when I first began to notice changes in Mom.  I know exactly when.

We were a distinctly politically partisan family. We expressed our likes and dislikes with – shall  we say – gusto.

We reserved our special contempt for one prominent politician – who shall be nameless – and regularly expressed our contempt.

And then one day Mom stopped us.  She looked at us sorrowfully, saying “Oh, hate is such a strong word.  He is a human being and doesn’t deserve that.  Be nice.”

It is all too common to think of Alzheimer’s with terror – the idea of a descent into a demented fog, robbed of all that makes you a distinct human being.

But they should have met my mother.  She, like nearly all of her companions in supported living, continued to look for the good in people and the wonder and joy of life never deserted her..

In these days of hyper partisanship, distrust and outright hatred, we could use some of Mom’s essential decency.

Painting by Jane Kippenhan