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Moments with my father with Dementia

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
17/02/2016 19:12

Yesterday I was at my fathers house and it was Maghrib (evening prayer) time. I stood for prayer and my father who suffers from advance level of dementia sat in his chair started to pray. When I finished I sat on the prayer matt and observed him as he was struggling to pray.

He has no memory but carried very vague familiarity with things he has done all his life including praying five times a day without failure. I remember when he was aware of his surroundings how strict he was with prayers - everything else was secondary to his prayer. When it was prayer time he stopped everything, his meals would wait, his appointments must wait, his friends must wait, even the Prime Minister will have to wait. For him God came first. Today he couldn't remember how to pray!

As I sat next to him watching him struggle to remember how to pray it pained me a great deal. I saw him mix up his movements and he was reciting various parts of the Quran but in a disjointed manner. One word from one section, half a verse from another and even made up words that did not sound familiar in any language to me. I felt very sorry for him seeing him in that state. I remember if I was reciting the Quran next to him and if I made one mistake in words or pronunciation he would be the first one to correct me. Today his most frequently recited parts of the Quran was no longer in his memory.

I sat there reading his favourite verse loudly but he looked at me with a blank stare did not recognise any of the words I was reading. I kept on repeating hoping that it may jog his memory but to no avail. Instead I read the verse and felt very emotional about it.

Life is like this. We all start as babies totally dependent on the love and mercy of our parents and there comes a time when at old age our patents become totally dependent on us, their children. They loose memory, they start behaving irrationally, they loose contort of their basic abilities - just like they put on us nappies when we were babies we end up putting nappies on them. This may seem very cruel fact of life but it is the only way we, the fickle human beings could be kept on our toes. We are reminded of how weak and dependent we are. We are given living examples of what may happen to us when we turn old and frail. Some of us wake up and take heed and some of remain arrogant and in denial.

I sat there watching my father, the towering figure in my life, totally aloof from life and it's realities, struggling to recall his whole life's most important habit yet he couldn't. I have never not had a day when I didn't hear him read the Quran yet today he could not even remember the first and most frequently recited chapter of the Quran. He is alive technically but without full mental capacity what is the point of life, I wondered!

I wonder what will happen to me when and if I reach old age. My father is now 90 plus, no real record of his date of birth. He has had a good long life. What awaits me is beyond my knowledge but I must live my life as if today is my last day, yesterday is gone and there is no guarantee of tomorrow.

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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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  • Nationality: United Kingdom
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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