There isn’t a definitive moment for Gran’s onset of dementia, but one thing that was a major change was her use of the middle finger. This was coupled with her gradual retrograde toward childhood. She started using the children’s rhyme “see my finger, see my thumb, see my fist you better run” and substituting her middle finger for her index finger. Anytime she would get mad, “see my finger…” was there to save her. It was always used when she was upset about something then eventually the middle finger came out more often. If there was a timeline to measure this regression, I think you would find that it would show that the more she flipped the bird, the more commonplace the middle finger became in our days. The initial shock dispelled. This is why this gesture is at the forefront of this blog. It’s a reminder of the drastic changes our loved ones go through and it is also present as an expression of my attitudes toward the disease.
So let’s raise it: to dementia.