A Very Good Day

In many ways, yesterday was just an ordinary day. I got Kate up in time for the sitter who arrived at noon. I went to my Rotary meeting, to the Y, and the grocery store before getting back home to relieve the Cindy. Kate and I relaxed in the family room for an hour and then went to dinner and returned home. We received a phone call from our daughter and ended the day. So why do I think it was “a very good day?” Let me tell you.

We were off to a good start when I went to wake Kate shortly after 11:00. She was already awake and gave me a smile that said, “Everything is all right. I’m just enjoying resting.” I sat down on the bed and we talked a few minutes before telling her it was time to get up. She wasn’t eager, but when I explained that I was going to Rotary and Cindy would take her to lunch, she agreed to get up. She was in a good mood and, other than needing me to guide her to the bathroom, she gave no sign of her normal early morning confusion.

She dressed slowly, but promptly, and was ready before Cindy arrived. I was leading her to the kitchen for her morning meds when she wanted to stop and admire the flowers in our family room and the ones on the patio. I enjoy watching her experience such joy. We started toward the kitchen, she stopped and said hello to the ceramic cat that has been a “pet” for quite a few years. He is now resting in front of a cabinet beside the fireplace as we walk to the kitchen. Then she noticed, as she almost always does, pictures of her father, our son, and me when I was about twelve. She loves looking at them, and her pleasure increases when I tell her “who we are.”

When Cindy arrived, Kate gave her a hug and showed no signs of concern about my leaving. They were sitting in the family room when I got back. I was glad that it did not appear that Kate had taken a nap as she often does. Even though she often naps after lunch, I sometimes feel that she uses that as a way to escape the sitter. This time they were talking. I also saw that she had the three-ring binder memory book on the table next to her. She had been looking at it.

One of the highlights of the day came after Cindy left. Most of the time, Kate is ready for us to leave the house as soon as I get home. Recently, that has been changing. Yesterday Kate gave me no indication that she was ready to go out. I turned on some music that I know she likes and sat down with my laptop to check my email. After a few minutes, I looked over at her. She had closed her eyes. Each hand was flat against the other as if in prayer. I have observed this on several other occasions. She continued to enjoy the music for about forty-five minutes. She periodically opened her eyes. She also released her hands off and on depending on the particular song that was playing. Her facial expressions and her hands worked in harmony with specific segments of the songs. Sometimes she was smiling. Other times, she was teary. She was enjoying herself so much that we went to dinner thirty minutes later than usual.

Another highlight occurred after we returned home from dinner. We received a phone call from our daughter who had just returned from a trip to England and France with her seventeen-year-old twin boys. It was their first trip, and she was excited to tell us about it. Kate said only a few words but listened intently to Jesse as she recounted their experiences.

When I reflect on our day, I have to say it was good day. Looking back, I don’t recall a single time she asked my name, or hers, or where we were or anything like that. It was a day when she was not talkative but at ease and seemed to know me and her surroundings. She might not have, but I like to think that she did.

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