My friend Laurinda asked, “Does that cause you pain to talk about when you and Molly did things together?’
Sometimes it does create loneliness, which can be painful. There is only one person with whom I shared that experience and she cannot remember it at all. That makes me feel sad.
Yesterday, I heard a piece of music on the Pandora at the facility. I said to Molly, “We heard that in Paris, in France, at a place called the Madeleine.” It was new for me to speak the memory as though she could still understand and it would mean something to her. It felt right to say out loud to her that we had shared something beautiful together.
I am weeping now. That answers my friend’s question. Yes, I feel sad. Does that mean “pain?” I guess the pain comes with loneliness and isolation. No one else can share that memory. It was ours. Now it is only mine.
But, of course, it is still a memory of something beautiful, something “memorable.” Do I still treasure and appreciate all the beautiful memories of the life we had together? Yes. Do I want to forget? No.
My time with Molly is so different now. I try as much as possible to stay in the present moment and too share Molly’s experience of the present moment. The simplest way is to observe what she does without trying to control her in any way.
Sometimes sharing the present moment means participating in her experience. If she is feeling my skin by touching and exploring my hand, then I relax and let her do it.
In such a moment I feel close to her: I sense a connection that is still alive. Does she have similar feelings? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps she is just momentarily fascinated by the feel of skin. It seems so when she moves on to the feel of the napkin on the table and of the fabric of her dress. She is curious about the world and exploring it through touching what is nearby. My hand was available for exploration.
Other times she reaches for my hand and it is clear Molly wants to hold my hand for safety, for comfort, for togetherness. She hangs on tightly when she is confused or fearful. She holds onto me while she falls asleep.
Either way I am grateful for the moments we have together now. They are also memorable.