That’s pretty much what my mornings look like.
An elderly couple was watching television one evening.
“I am going to get some ice cream,” said the wife.
“I’ll get it for you,” he said.
“That’s nice. I’ll write it down so you don’t forget what I want.”
“I won’t forget.”
“But I want chocolate syrup and nuts on it. I’ll write it down.”
“I’ll get your ice cream. Don’t worry.”
A few minutes later, he returned with bacon and eggs.
“See,” she said. “I told you to let me write it down. You forgot the toast.”
I think this story points to another silver lining of dementia. The first for my mom has been that she has forgotten her anxiety and enjoys social situations more than she ever has. She doesn’t remember them, but she enjoys them. The second seems to be in the area of expectations. If you can’t remember what you were expecting, you won’t be disappointed, unless, of course, you are like this woman and develop new expectations while you wait.
An elderly gentleman went to his doctor with some physical problems. The doctor told the old gent to drink warm water one hour before breakfast.
At the end of a week, the man returned for a follow-up visit.
“Are you feeling better?”
“No. I actually feel worse.”
“Did you drink warm water an hour before breakfast every day?”
“No, all I could manage was about fifteen minutes.”
After Mom and Dad began showing obvious signs of dementia, we frequently had conversations like this one:
“Dad, did you have a doctor’s appointment yesterday?”
“Which one did you see?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Was it a regular check-up or for something specific?”
“I don’t know. They called and said I had an appointment.”
“What did he tell you?”
That’s when I started going with them on their doctor visits.
An elderly woman decided to have her portrait painted.
“Paint me with diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby broach, and a gold Rolex.”
“But you’re not wearing any of those things.”
“I know. It’s just in case I die before my husband. I’m sure he’ll remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for all that jewelry.”
Mom would never have done anything like this. Having been with Dad since they were 17 years old, I don’t think it ever occurred to her that he might consider remarrying if she died first. But I discovered there was a little bit of the wild thing in her one afternoon when we were talking about her widowed sister.
“I think Fay should find a boyfriend,” she said. “She’s been alone long enough.”
“I’m sure she will if the right man comes along, but she seems pretty happy like she is,” I said. And then my sweet little Southern Baptist mother blew my mind.
“Maybe so. If Elmer dies before I do, I don’t think I’d ever marry again. I might shack up now and then , though.”
I’m sure it was the Alzheimer’s talking!
Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
Mom was a beautiful woman, and she hated what age did to her looks. She fought it with diet and exercise, creams and lotions; but as her memory faded, she became less concerned. She was like the person in James 1:23-24. She glanced in a mirror, saw herself, walked away, and forgot what she looked like. But with practice, I became a pretty good beautician. On Sunday mornings and on other special occasions, I fixed her hair and applied a little make-up. She loved the attention, closing her eyes and almost purring like a cat. When I finished and told her to open her eyes and take a look, she smiled and said, “I look pretty good, don’t I.” It was worth getting up thirty minutes early.
Yep, that’s the kind of old lady I want to be. Some people think I’m well on the way already.