Kate rested for 1 ½ hours after Anita left. I woke her up for dinner. She woke easily and didn’t show any signs of confusion. That occurred in the car on the way to dinner. We only went a short distance to Chalupas, but she asked my name at least three times, perhaps more. As we pulled into the parking lot at the restaurant, I told her my name and said we had been married 55 years. That surprised her. She said, “We’re married? Are you sure?” I told her yes, that we had married in 1963. As I pulled into a parking space, she said, “Are we legal?” I told her we were. She asked, “Who did this? You’re gonna have to explain this to me.” I told her I would once we were inside, and I told her about our first date, the wedding and her preacher who conducted the ceremony.
I could see that she looked very puzzled. Nothing I had said seemed to make any difference except she had some familiarity with the church and the preacher. She asked what we had been doing all this time. I told her about the places we had lived, the birth of our children, and jobs. When I mentioned our time at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, nothing rang a bell until I mentioned the English professor for whom she worked. She always liked him. I should add that during all of this she didn’t express any of the anxiety I have witnessed on several other occasions. She was just puzzled and really couldn’t remember most of what I was telling her. Finally, she was getting far too much information. She asked me to stop. Then she asked, “Does anybody else know about this?” I asked, “This?” She said, “All this that you have been telling me.” I told her our children know. She asked how they would know. I told her she had raised them and learned about the things I had told her. She said, “I didn’t raise them.”
I decided to go in another direction. I said, “There’s only one thing that matters. That’s us. We know we love each other and that we’ve had many great experiences. She agreed.
As I pulled into our garage, she said, “I like all this.” I said, “You mean our house?” She said, “This is our house?” Once we were inside, she said she wanted to go to the bathroom and to brush her teeth. I could see that she was unsure of where to go. I told her I would show her the bathroom and took her there.
We are now sitting in the family room where she is going through the photo book that her brother Ken gave her. I had gotten it out to show her pictures of our wedding. She recognized the photos and the church parlor where the reception was held. That seemed to settle her, and she has been looking through it for about twenty minutes or so.
I don’t ever recall another instance in which she was so confused, but she seems all right now. I’ll see what happens as we get closer to bed time. I am going to play one of our musicals to see if we can end on a high note again.
My personal reaction to the situation has been less sadness than a resolve to help her in any way that I can. She really needs help, and she trusts me. After giving my explanation of our courtship and wedding, she said, “That’s what I like about you. You just say it straight out.” I’m not exactly sure what she means by that, but later she said, “When you tell me things, I can understand them.” I don’t think this is quite true, but I sense her trust in me and want to be a supportive as I am able.