Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Live

Today was the family Lunch Bunch.
It was a good time, like always.
We average 10-15 people now.
After lunch I returned to Mom and Dad's 
assisted living facility with them.
Dad napped and then we went into the hall for a walk.
We ran into one of their neighbors.
He has been there a few weeks.
He grew up by my dad
but is about 12 years younger.
He ran around with my dad's brother, George
and my mom's brother, Ralph.
He has sat at dinner with my folks.
He has visited with them several times.
He also has short term memory loss.
We visited in the hall 
and then Mom invited him into their apartment
so they could sit down and visit.
Do you remember SNL's Mr. Short-term Memory?
I was stuck in an episode.
I have to laugh about it.
It's that or shoot yourself in the foot. 
The neighbor tells us in the hall...
"I saw that name on your door and wanted to come meet you."
"I used to know people by that name."
I think to myself, yes, you did last week.
So he comes in and sits down.
He tells us all about how his sons
have taken away his license and his car.
He says they lied to the doctor 
about him being  unable to drive.
Yes, he is disoriented but he can drive.
But, he tells us he isn't going to rant about it.
Dad interjects "I had a John Deer tractor and a thresher."
The  man says "my kids have taken away my car
 and lied to the doctor all about it."
the whole story again followed by 
"but, I am not going to rant about it anymore."
Dad tells his tractor story.
The man tells his license story.
I get up to get a drink (water, just water )
He says "Oh you found it. I keep it there to take my medicine."
I think to myself "Crap. 
He thinks we are in his apartment.
Now, he will never leave!"
I am pretty sure Mom is oblivious.
He says "you live in 31."
I say "you live in 31."
He says ...
"when you leave you are 3 down."
Mom says "there is just 2 doors between us."
I am sure now she has no clue what he is thinking.
Dad says "I had a John Deer tractor and a thresher."
He says " I used to go to school with your brothers.
My boys have taken away my driver's license."
This goes on for 30 minutes.
The whole discussion...where we live,
who has a tractor,
who has had their license wrongfully taken away.
Yada, yada, yada. 
I decide to make a break for it.
I go to the door to try to coax Dad to go for a walk.
Outside the door is an angel.
She says "do you have company?"
I say "yes, Mr. M."
She  says "Oh thank God, we have been
 looking everywhere for him."
I tell him they are looking for him
so he can have his medicine.
He says "Oh I thought this was my apartment!"
I told Mom "I was beginning to think 
we would have to wait until you went to dinner 
to get him out of here."
She said "I had no idea 
that he didn't know it wasn't his apartment."
Then we both busted a gut laughing.
They went to dinner and
 I came home to medicate myself
with broccoli and cauliflower.
Dern, times like this...I miss cake.

For those of you too young or those of you who have no memory
I give you...



  1. As sad as these situations are, I just got the biggest giggle out of this. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

    Glad you are medicating yourself with healthy choices.

    Have a happy week!

  2. To laugh or to cry?
    Or to eat cake?
    I know which I'd choose.
    Pass the napkins.

  3. Too funny . . . definitely would have needed a drink after that, a real drink:O) Bless you Janie!

  4. I had an experience similar to this, once, with a resident of the adult home when Clementine was a baby. It can be so frustrating. This particular time was frustrating in the moment, funny in retrospect, and sad in the moment AND in retrospect. I hate Dementia and Alzheimer's. I wish I were a celebrity...I wish I were a celebrity on Celebrity Apprentice...I wish I were a winning celebrity on Celebrity Apprentice just so I could make a huge donation for this cause. Really.


  5. Its good that your parents can be well taken care of.
    Nice you can visit them....its even nicer to remember where YOU live. ;~)
    I am sure my kids will have(I think they already have) a few stories to tell about me.
    Its crazy...that anyone at any age can have short term memory included...especially when I pick up the phone to call a friend.I don't think I am into repeating a story(at least that quickly). ;~)
    Have a great Day!
    Love ya,

  6. it's funny and sad at the same time, my mama turned 73 today and my sister and I took her to her fav junk store (we partied yesterday) and my sisters mil, my mama started telling a story about the "old" man she cleans for ( he is probably her age) and finally I looked at my sister and said "when this story started I was 32 and now i'm 45, we all just cackled like hens. Our fav thing to tell her when she gets on her box, is "just the facts mame, just the facts" she is a hot mess too!

  7. This story reminds me of visiting my own grandmother at the senior's apartment building...funny and sad at the same time. I'm glad you can keep your sense of better stock up on cauliflower.

  8. I know this isnt funny, but I just laughed. I guess when you've experienced it first hand, it's like you were there yourself!! My Gram, bless her heart, is 83...perfectly healthy until Sept when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She was supposed to have cataract surgery around that same time. Needless to say, they didnt do it, her leukemia is pretty advanced (very surprised that she's made it this long). Her memory is going too, I dont know if its from the leukemia or the drugs or both, but while I was in PA for Christmas, I visited her as much as I could. If she told me once she told me 965 times, that she was supposed to have cataract surgery, but then "this happened". My Gramps is still sharp as a tack and is the funniest man ever. My Gram was opening gifts, and someone got her one of those shower sponge thingys, and shower gel. She started telling us all that Grandpa now gave her her shower, etc. and the young girls were all like, "ok Gram, TMI"... But not to miss a beat, a few minutes went by and someone asked what time it Grandpa said, "oh we've got lots of time...anyone want a shower?!" It's so hard watching my grandparents age...almost as hard watching my Grandpa worry and dote on my Gram as it is watching her be sick... As the Jeremy Camp song goes, "...there will be a day with no more tears-no more pain, no more fears." Holding on to His promises! Thinking of you as you take such good care of your precious parents!

  9. OH Janie. I've been there done that, as they say. (do they say that anymore?) Anyway, you are right laughter really is the best way to deal with it. My great aunt and uncle were my favorite people and I had the responsibility of seeing after them as they aged. They were in an assisted living center and I visited 3 times a day, morning, noon and night. At home I had an 8 year old, a 4 year old and an infant. One Sunday afternoon I told my aunt that I needed to go home because my family didn't recognize me anymore. She, being the prim & proper school teacher that she was said "Well young lady if you'd wear a dress, they would know who you are!". uh....yeah....that's it!
    Have a good one. I love your Monday lunches, I hope y'all keep that up forever!

  10. What a lunch! I am terrified of becoming Mrs. Short Term Memory.

  11. Glad you laughed instead of shooting yourself in the foot! (That would have put you on the Boot Camp Sidelines for sure!) A very similar scene plays each time I visit my parents. It takes NO imagination on my part to enter YOUR story. You just have a better way of telling it.

  12. We took my mother in law to a high school basketball game a couple weeks ago. EVERY time the the girls made a basket (either team) she asked if that was what they were supposed to do...EVERY time, I tell you. Just have to laugh or cry...laughing is better. Have a good day!

  13. Oh I remember Mr. Short Term Memory.

    And isn't it marvelous that all these years later he helps you maintain a bit of your sanity (in the absence of cake or something stiffer than water) with humor?

    Laughter truly is a balm for the weary soul.
    And you, my friend, are an angel walking among us.

    Keep laughing instead of shooting yourself in the foot. Because trust me.
    You're still going to need both of them for a long, long time...


  14. My husband's grandma had a ring-tailed monkey named Jocko. Which she told us about. Often. And repeatedly. I'm sure you did want to shoot yourself in the foot. But you listened. With grace. And that's a beautiful gift, my friend.

  15. I had to chuckle reading this... I deal with the same thing only it is my mother.... she will be 90 in May. She is now in a nursing home deep in Southern Illinois. I was there to see her Monday, and took McDonald's to her for a treat.

    Our conversation went like this:

    Mom- I couldn't possibly eat all that
    Me - Well eat what you want Mom
    Mom- I don't know when I had a hamburger last
    Me- I know, it was last month when I came to see you
    Mom- (as she is gobbling this all down) I can't possibly eat this
    Me- Looks like you are doing a good job
    Mom - (as she is taking her last gulp of milkshake after her last bite of cheeseburger) I can't possibly drink all of this! I have not had a hamburger in ages.
    Me- I will bring it again next time
    Mom- How are your girls
    Me- they are fine and the kids are fine
    Mom-How many do they have
    Me- Jala now has four and Amber has 3 and are getting ready to adopt from Bulgaria
    Mom-where do you live?
    Me - Iowa
    Mom- Why in the world would she want to adopt a baby? YOu say you live in Ohio? Did you marry this man?
    Me- yes Mom 2 years ago, I hope he is a good man (while he is sitting there)
    Mom- How many children does he have?
    Me- How many do you think he has?
    Mom- Where do you live?
    Me- Iowa
    Mom- What does he do for a living
    Me- What do you think he does?
    Mom- does he do embroidery?
    Me- Why yes he does see you remembered!
    Mom- How are your girls
    Me- Fine mom

    THis went on and on for and hour and a half! I live around 7 hours away from her now, and I truly go for the joy she gets for the moment! I have learned to laugh about it although it was hard in the beginning! I am so thankful she still knows me and gets so excited when I come in!


  16. Sigh .......I laugh, I cry, I relate.... It's a lot to take in sometimes. It's nice you have many family members close by... Even so it's not easy... but the comical moments cannot be denied! Nice writing Janie... :-)

  17. Oh girl. I'm so glad I read this. Did someone think you were making fun? No way, Jose. Your love is vivid here. And I am cracking UP. xo

  18. This reminds me of the night before my mom died. A new male AD resident had recently moved to the same nursing home. He visited her room (and me) about every 10 minutes and every 10 minutes I told him that she was dying and every 10 minutes he felt so sad about it, even though he hadn't a clue who she was. It was an interesting distraction to the whole dying process.


Thanks for reading my blather. I read every comment. They make my heart happy!