wings and things

An argument about Anthony’s smile

on October 15, 2015

You know how I’ve been saying how wonderful it is to see Anthony smiling again, and that I’ve been crediting myself with having made a huge effort to get that smile back? Well, Ming disagrees.

Today was a day off work for Ming so he went to see Anthony and I had a day at home. When he got back he told me that he had Anthony laughing!

Ming: Mum, Dad never lost his smile!

Me: You don’t see him as much so you don’t know – anyway you can always make him smile because you’re Ming!

Ming: So can you and so can anybody!

We left it at that; after all there is no point having an argument about a smile. Nevertheless our brief argument got me thinking about Anthony’s Parkinson’s ‘mask’ (the blank, unblinking, slack-jawed expression on his face, typical of PD). And I realised that the only reason I see this more than anyone else does is probably because, when I visit, I am there for hours so I see the fluctuations.

For example, when staff come into Anthony’s room and banter or flirt with him, he smiles; when friends and relatives visit, he smiles; when Ming and I visit, he smiles. So perhaps I should adjust my thinking to the possibility that it has become easier to conjure/coerce that smile? Maybe Anthony’s smile, and even his laugh, was always there, always ready to be there.

Maybe it was my own smile that went missing for so long.

20 responses to “An argument about Anthony’s smile

  1. ksbeth says:

    maybe it brings it out in both of you -action/reaction

  2. you always give us such good insight into both PD an its effects not juts on the sufferer but on those near and dear

  3. Or maybe the Parkinson’s fluctuates like you said…. In any case it’s nice that he can smile whatever the reason… Diane

  4. Judy says:

    Your story touches so lightly on why your smile was gone for so long. You certainly treasure Anthony and your time with him. But seeing him decline with this disease is a huge loss! Dementia is a thief and he is not the man he was before – even when he smiles! So not smiling is understandable. My son is a lot like Ming and there is no winning an argument with him. He will deal with his loss in his own way – I think you are amazing by how you find light in your tunnel. Smiles and laughter – are the best medicine.

  5. susanpoozan says:

    I am glad that you have got your smile back.

  6. You’re brilliant. It makes sense to me that your smile may have gone missing. And it may have had to do with the fact that your smile is so tied to Anthony, going through all of that adjustment to the ‘new’ living arrangements may have misplaced it. And, it’s nice that Ming’s father’s smile means so much to him.

  7. dou dou says:

    I hope that someday, someone loves me as much as you love Anthony.

  8. Terry says:

    I think your explanation makes more sense. First of all, if Ants could control when he smiles, he would not have PD. You see him more, he likes visits, so that smile that is so him comes forth each new visitor arrives. With you there quite often, you get to see all sides. You are his wife, and he realizes you are a common denominator in each of his days. Did I make any sense here? I hope so.

  9. misifusa says:

    I understand. I believe that we carers see more than those who are only with our loved ones for short bursts of time when they can focus. I have this problem with my Sissy about our Mom. I am like you, thinking that she has lost so much when like Ming, Sissy says she hasn’t. I think we are all right. There is loss, but there are still smiles. Gratitude for every bit of it is what we have in the end. (But you and I know we are right xo) 🙂

  10. Probably a mix of smiles feeding smiles and at the same time I’m sure Anthony enjoys his ability to just relax with you and not have to project being okay…

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