All my life my mother has enjoyed donuts. When I growing up my family routinely breakfasted on donuts from a local bakery during our lazy weekend mornings. My mom always liked traditional glazed donuts, and she also was happy to be a little bit adventurous when eating donuts covered in frosting and coconut flakes.
My brother and I tended to eat donut holes. Often we had the variety bag of donut holes cut from a wide assortment of different types of donuts. I cannot remember now what my father’s donut preferences were like, but I do remember that he was the one who went out, sometimes accompanied by my brother, to purchased them while Mom and I slept in.
Instead of cutting out donuts from her breakfast choices, Mom decided she’d make donuts healthier by the way that she prepared them prior to eating them. I was shocked the first time I walked in on my mother smashing a donut between two napkins. She was unmercifully pounding the poor unsuspecting pastry completely flat with the palm of her hand!
Once she was finished with it, the formerly puffy donut was transformed into a neat, compact, sugary wheel. When she finished giving the donut its beating, making great effort to keep a straight face while doing so, I inquired of my mother as to what the donut had done to deserve such a violent punishment.
“It had too much grease in it. Just look at all that grease!”
Mom triumphantly displayed to me the grease that was now thoroughly soaking the two napkins which had been her accomplices in her rough treatment of the now flat and victimized pastry.
“Well, it’s a donut, isn’t it? Or it was, anyway. Donuts are greasy. That’s probably why people like them.” I shrugged.
Mom stared at me.
“I don’t want to eat all that grease! And I won’t. I’m eating healthy now.”
Mom held up the donut in the same manner one might display an impressively sized catch when out for a day of fishing.
Now I stared at my mother.
“See? It’s healthier now.”
I just stood there. What could I even say in reply to that?
Satisfied with how I had accepted her explanation, Mom then proceeded to happily eat the newly flattened donut. I watched her eat it, fascinated and bewildered by this curious new behavior that health-consciousness had created in my mother.
For the remainder of her years that her memory was intact, my mother continued to pummel poor defenseless donuts into what she determined to be satisfyingly healthier versions of their former selves before indulging in eating them along with her weekend morning coffee.
Since the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease however, I have noticed a drastic change in the way my mother consumes donuts.
Dementia has been quite a journey for my mother, and for all of us who are her family members too. But I can tell you with certainty that my mother’s condition with Alzheimer’s Disease has been the upmost of kindness and benevolence in regard to donuts.
Now that my mother is no longer able to recall that she wants to eat healthy, she no longer beats donuts into flat little wheels before eating them. Now my mom eats donuts in exactly the same manner as she did prior to her health-conscious days.
My mother now eats donuts slowly, while they are fully round and completely greasy. These days at the breakfast table, in my role as her caregiver, and nearly her mother with her as the daughter instead, I watch as my mother delights in, and savors, each and every bite of that sugar and grease which was so determined to avoid for all those years.
I think I can now safely conclude that my mother has completed her Donut Circle.