Sticky Words

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My daughter, Annabel, and I stopped by to drop some things off at Mom and Dad’s the other day. I reminded Mom that my daughter was the “real” Annabel that she named her doll after. Dad said, “Yep, Mom’s favorite words now are Annabel and shut-up.” It’s true. She frequently and randomly says “Annabel” and “Shut-up!”

Mom looked at my daughter and said, “Who are you?”

“I’m Annabel.”

“Oh.  You’re cute!” Mom answered.

Annabel was quite pleased with that commentary and asked Mom, “Who are you?”

Mom answered, “I’m me.”

That was about as far as our conversation went…though I noticed while I was changing Mom, and have noted before, that she also says “Crazy people!” quite often. That phrase is sticking to me and I find myself saying it often in Mom’s tone of voice.  It’s surprisingly satisfying!  “Crazy people!” I guess I should be careful who I say it around.

And it all makes me think I should practice saying pleasant words, so if I ever lose my vocabulary at least the words that stick around might be sweet ones. What should I choose….I love you?  You’re beautiful? Jesus loves you.

The problem is that I suppose you never know with dementia what words will remain and be in the repeat groove. Mom never said “Shut-up” before she had dementia, and now that is one of her phrases. And I’m not sure why “Annabel” has become a word of choice—but it is fun to say. And “Crazy people!” communicates her feelings well, I think.

Dementia is so mysterious. What can we do, but trust God and carry on? One day at a time, trusting Him for the grace.  And by the way…thank you for reading this. You’re beautiful.  Jesus loves you. Really.


  1. I actually agree with the idea that we should all be saying positive words while we are still mentally-intact…so when dementia hits us *knocks on wood* we’ll be saying but positive words which in turn, will enlighten people around us.

    1. I agree. It might not work when dementia hits, but it’s what we should be doing anyway–using encouraging words. thanks for your comment castoriehandley!

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