Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Ice cream social
The other night my mom asked if the Mr and I wanted to get some ice cream with my grandma and grandpa. I said yes and we re-arranged our calories so it wouldn't throw a wrench into things. They have three flavors of light ice cream there so we said we would get a scoop of one of those.
While the Mr, my mom and grandpa went up to order, I stayed at the table with grandma. She was having a good day. She asked me what I've been up to lately and you have to know that for a dementia patient to ask that, is something that is exceedingly rare. There are days she can barely string together a sentence that makes sense to us. We know she knows what she means but there is a disconnect from what she thinks she's saying to what comes out of her mouth. Ninety percent of the time, she won't really speak unless spoken to so for her to ask me what I'd been up to is like the best thing ever. You cling to it. You know it could be the last time she ever has the capacity to have that thought to interact in a way that most of us take for granted. I told her what I've been doing and thought I'd give it a shot and ask the same of her. This is where it gets tricky because sometimes she says "I don't know" or will just smile because she doesn't know what to say. But she said "oh, about the same. You know." It was so wonderful to hear that little snippet of the old her even if I knew that she wasn't redoing furniture like me, it was just the fact that it was more than a blank stare, look of confusion or "I don't know."
She showed me her Mary Jane shoes and she called them 'shoo-ees' and I think she was trying to say "shoe-bees" which is what she always called them all my life. I call them that too about 60% of the time, I'll tell the Mr to 'get his shoe-bees on' and start laughing at how natural yet funny it sounds. It's somehow comforting that a phrase that started when I was a kid comes so natural to me. When I'm 80 and the Mr is 82, before our nightly walk, I will tell him to get his shoe-bees on.
When they came back, she dove into her scoop of ice cream. I think the meds she's on gives her quite an appetite for sweets because she knows no restraint around ice cream and it's the cutest thing ever. My grandpa was a little more than halfway done with his when she finished and she kind of started looking around like "where'd my ice cream go?" Grandpa handed her his cup and asked if she wanted some and she dug into that bad boy and I laughed, looked at him and said "well, you're done!" She did something similar at my cousin's birthday dinner when they brought out his free sundae. He took a bite then passed it around for everyone to take a bite to pass it back and when it got to her, she started scarfing it down and we all busted out laughing and I said "yeah, you're not getting that back!" It is seriously so cute.
By the time we were winding down, she was getting cold and bundled up in her jacket. She pulled the collar of her jacket closed and shivered a bit and I said it was probably time to get her home. She hugged us goodbye and it was thankfully a normal one, not one where she appears timid or almost scared because she doesn't know us.
I cherish those good days. I am glad that we moved things around so that we could enjoy the ice cream social with them instead of being so stringent that we missed that bonding moment with her. It's fine to pass up treats sometimes but other times you need to remember that moments like those are fleeting and plan ahead so you can stay true to your goals as well as enjoy the people in your life while they're here.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
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