We’ve had another nice day. There isn’t much to report. We spent an hour or so at Panera this morning. Then Kate wanted to go to Lowe’s to see what plants they might have at this time of year. They were almost completely depleted. She did buy $50 worth of pansies that she plans to plant tomorrow
On the way to Lowe’s she asked me if I had said something to Sylvia about our moving to Texas. I didn’t know who she was talking about and asked if she meant Sylvia Bailey, our daughter’s mother-in-law. It turns out Kate was talking about our decorator whom we had seen at Panera while we were there. Kate noticed how puzzled I was and said, “Never mind.” I didn’t say anything more. It was as if she suddenly realized that she may have imagined this conversation. As I have noted in earlier posts, this is something that occurs periodically.
We had a couple of nice social encounters yesterday and today. The first was at Panera’s where we had lunch yesterday. A Rotary friend came in for lunch just as we were finishing up. He sat down beside us. That led to a conversation that lasted a little more than an hour. He is a funny guy and as a native Tennessean and former news broadcaster, he knows a lot of things that are happening around the state. Kate did not participate much, but she really enjoyed listening to the two of us.
The second experience was tonight at dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant where I always speak Spanish with the servers. I engaged in conversation with one of them about how it seems like such a short time since we were there just before Christmas a year ago. After we finished the conversation, Kate said something like, “I would have married you just to hear a conversation like that.” She went on to explain that it was such a natural conversation between two people from such different worlds with no sense of any distance between us at all. I try to tell my friends that we don’t eat out just for food. It is an opportunity for significant social encounters. This is often the case.
I just remembered something else that occurred yesterday. We were driving to dinner when I said, “I haven’t seen Mark in a while. I think I will call him for coffee tomorrow afternoon.” She replied in a soft voice, “What am I going to do?” I felt so sad for her. She has such a strong need for activity other than what I am providing. It is so difficult to accomplish. I have mentioned to virtually everybody who asks about her that she is socially isolated. Several people have indicated a desire to help and would enjoy getting together. Only three people have actually responded. Two of them got together with Kate and me for lunch with no follow up. The third got together with the two of us twice. I believe she is likely to follow up again, but she is a school teacher and has obligations during the school year. I really do understand. All of us seem to be so busy that we can’t work in many extras like visiting someone who may be in need.
Last night on the way back from dinner, she looked at the clock in the car to see that it was only 6:00 p.m. Then she said, “What am I going to do?” She went on to say she can’t just work puzzles all the time which is what she is doing. This is so painful to me as I am working so hard to keep her active, but my efforts are never enough.
Last week I also mentioned Kate’s isolation to our associate pastor for congregational care. I asked her about others in the congregation who might want to establish a connection. I also left a phone message for Don Crawford whose wife has AD. I saw him at church on Sunday, and he asked me to call back. I would love for Kate and his wife, Cynthia, to get together. I am going to be hopeful.