07 August 2010
Saving the Lost Souls of Purgatory
Many times I feel like I am standing in front of a runaway locomotive; never knowing what to expect from my mom's demented mind, I brace myself.
"Susie, what are all the people doing out there?" My mom will ask.
"Look! There's Eddie in the trees. He is swinging like a monkey!" Mom shrills excitedly.
"Wow... look at all the nuns!" Nuns that my mom sees all the time walking the perimeter of our fenced in yard.
Shadows become people in my mom's world; No rhyme, no reason. To her these people are real and arguing makes the hallucinations scarier, making care giving more difficult.
So, I made up a story that seems to explain the hallucinations so that they are not as frightening. All day long my mom sees shadows that she believes are people, her people.
I have explained to her that these are all the lost souls who are stuck in Purgatory. I tell her that because she has a magic eye, she can see the souls who need help. The souls recognize her and come from far and wide to our yard in order to catch the bus to heaven.
My dad is the bus driver for heaven's bus. He comes every day at 4:30 pm to our back yard to pick up the souls who had gathered over night and all during the day.
The nuns, the shadows on the fence that are created by the sun shining through the leaves of the trees, they patrol the property after the bus leaves for Heaven. They are here to gather up the children and keep them safe, my mom worries about children all the time. I tell her that these children are in Purgatory because they died before they were baptized. A belief that she had learned from nuns when she was a little girl.
I tell my mom that she is saving the children from Purgatory, that she's reuniting the children with their mom's in Heaven. I explain to her that all the people she sees, she's saving. I assure her that even the scary hallucinations are just those folks who have been stuck in Purgatory for a very long time and they forgot how to be pleasant.
My mom is happy knowing that she is saving souls. The souls recognize her when we are out and they follow us home, they recognize my mom as their bus ticket to heaven.
My mom, she sits and watches her people all day long. She waves to them and smiles. She has conversations too, waving her arms and laughing. Finally, 4:30 rolls around and she sits and waits for my dad to come down from Heaven in his bus. I make her a cup of decaf coffee and give her a coconut ice cream to enjoy while she's waiting. She sees him. She sees the people get on the bus.
Sometimes she forgets and misses seeing the bus. This is when she tells me that she heard the bus come... planes flying over the house at 4:30 make an engine noise... to her it's my dad's bus.
The power of suggestion works. It helps me, the Care Giver, chase away her scary hallucinations. I give her an explanation and she is happy. She knows that I call Dream Master in emergencies; he takes care of the scary hallucinations and has the power to send the bad spirits to Hell.
My mom understands Purgatory, she was raised a Catholic... Purgatory was always a scary place to me. No one wants to be in a holding pen for souls, never knowing when you will get to be reunited with God and your family. Mom likes to help, she likes to make a difference, we all do. I use my mom's hallucinations to help her feel that she's making a difference. My mom, she's happy and understands her role; saving the lost souls of Purgatory.