Come back Miss Cathy: Pt. l


The 1950’s stage play (and later film version) of “Come Back Little Sheba” was a story of a housewife in crisis heartbreakingly portrayed by the late great actress, Shirley Booth.

Her character stands just outside her kitchen door (and her life) late at night where she can be heard calling for her lost dog.

During the course of the drama it becomes evident that she’s longing for the return of more than just (wo)man’s best friend.

This morning it struck me that the same could be said of Miss Cathy.

While she rarely stands anywhere for long these days she does seem to be lost in thought a lot and more often than not looking out the window as much as she’s looking a the television.

Her introspection led me to wonder…do her anxieties and nervousness go deeper than the dementia? Does the fact that the ‘present’ confuses her open her up to see the ‘past’ more clearly? And if it does, what does she see there?
Is she looking for something other than what that she’s lost since her diagnosis…her independence, freedom, sense of self?

She’s just started therapy recently and I am hoping it will help.

After her first consultation I went in to talk with the therapist for a moment, she warned me that sometimes (depending on the trauma or issues uncovered) an elderly mind can be determined to be too fragile to confront whatever has happened (this is especially true of some dementia patients) and if that’s the case then it might be best to let the past stay unexamined.

I know some of Miss Cathy’s past troubles and hardships but it’s not for me to say, nor for me to judge how she’s walked thought her life, her choices and what she chooses to talk about.

Everyone’s life contains pain and it’s up to the individual to bare witness (or not) to his or her own emotional holocaust.

With that in mind I’ve encouraged mom to continue therapy (she was questioning whether or not to go back after only one visit) and to give time time.

My hope is that in time she may feel safe enough (and comfortable enough) to finally talk about what’s been unspoken for so long.

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