I remember how Norbert had stayed positive – all the way. He surrendered to his disease and allowed me to take care of him and do most of the personal and basic things with the exception of breathing and swallowing his food.
When I think again, he had always been a very independent person, how did he fight all this? He told me, as first he was ashamed of many things that he could no longer do, like run, sit of floor and pray. He forgot what culture wanted out of him. He had ignored culture much of his life, anyway and decided not to be ashamed and what was the big deal anyway?
He began to enjoy his dependency. He enjoyed being manicured and pedicured. He loves when I rubbed lotion all over his body and massaged his legs. He reveled in it. He usually closed his eyes and soaked it up. And it felt very familiar to him he says, like going back to being a child again. Someone to bathe you and kiss you and be with you all the time. I tend to agree with him. We all have that ‘child’ thing in all of us and should now remember how to enjoy it.
I love to be a ‘mother’ to him. I used to hold him, rock him, stroke his head to sleep. We all yearn in some ways to return to those days when we were completely taken care of – unconditional love, unconditional attention. Most of us didn’t get enough.