I like to think that I am getting along pretty well, and I really am. However, I try to be honest with myself and with others that I am not unemotional in my response to Kate’s AD. We are at Panera right now. We came in through a side door rather than the main entrance that is almost directly in front of the counter where you place your order. For that reason, I generally assume that no one sees us coming in.
As usual, I came in, picked out our regular table, arranged it so that Kate would be positioned with minimal glare on her iPad, put here iPad at her place, and then went to the counter to order. I was surprised that before I could order, the person behind the counter said she had my blueberry muffin. I said, “I can’t believe you saw me come in. Who saw me?” Two people’s hands went up.”
When I got back to the table with Kate’s muffin, I thought a moment. One of the young women who raised her hand is Kelcie. She is leaving this Saturday to go back to Idaho where her husband is an undergrad at Brigham Young University. She and others have been so very nice to us. I decided I should go back and express my appreciation. She was talking with three others behind the counter. Each of them was there when I ordered. I asked Kelcie if she knew that Kate has AD. She did not, but said she knew something was not right. I told her and the others with her that I like for people to know just in case something unusual were to happen. Then I said, “I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate how nice you have been to her and to me.” Without the slightest warning, tears welled up in my eyes, and I choked up so that I could hardly get the words out.
I am a naturally tender kind of person; so choking up is not unheard of for me. I am touched by lots of things like movies, plays, funerals, and music. This happened to me when the doctor first told us about Kate’s diagnosis. It happened when I told my staff about her. After living with this for so long now, I don’t have this kind of experience very often. When I do it is typically when I am alone or in an audience. For that reason, I was surprised when this happened. It caught me off guard.
This is a personal reminder of how sensitive I am. That’s probably a good thing.