Yesterday a representative of the Chautauqua Foundation, visited us in our home. We had recently made a financial contribution to the Foundation. He was calling on several families in the Carolinas who has made gifts for the renovation of the amphitheater. I had mentioned his coming to Kate several times, once a couple of weeks ago when he first contacted me by email and again the day of his visit. She told me I should meet with him by myself. I told her that he was coming to thank us and that it would be nice for her to be included in the visit. She reluctantly agreed. This is a good illustration of her not wanting to engage in a type of social interaction from which she could and does benefit.
When he arrived, she was quite cordial and engaged in conversation. There were times that I held back saying something because she wanted to talk. The important point is that she was enjoying herself. She got to talk about Chautauqua with someone who represents that institution. This was right up her alley. If I hadn’t pushed her into being a part of the visit, she would have missed a rewarding experience. Of course, I am sure that today she does not remember anything about it. From my standpoint I just like to see her days filled with as many moments of pleasure as possible. Sometimes I give in to her wishes. I just did that about an hour ago.
She had been resting since we returned from Panera earlier this morning. She told me she wanted to go outside. I told her that was fine. She asked if she could have a Dr. Pepper. I told her that she could do and have whatever she wanted. Then I told her I was thinking of our doing something different this afternoon. I told her we would go to lunch and then I thought we would go to the zoo to see the major updates that had made. She just shook her head “no.” I encouraged her and said that I would really like to go and would like her to go with me. She shook her head again. She seemed sufficiently resistant that I said, “That’s all right. I won’t make you go.” I gave her a hug, and she went outside where she has been for just over an hour.
For quite a long time I have tried to keep her involved in social activity. The one that works best is eating out. In that case, she is attracted by the need to eat. A different kind of example involves my volunteering to the Visitation Committee at church. I did this about two years ago. It turns out, however, that she doesn’t care for this particular social activity. Now I am going by myself
I have also explored the possibility of our volunteering to do something involving Children’s Hospital. I was thinking that she enjoys children so much that visiting with the children might be something she would accept. I have taken any action beyond initial exploration. I have been afraid that she would not want to carry through and that would be a problem for the hospital and the children. They need someone they can count on.