I spoke too soon.

Not long after uploading my previous post, I went back to the bedroom. I saw that Kate was awake and walked over to her. She was having a similar, but milder, attack like those she experienced the past four mornings. I said, “Are you all right?” She said, “I think so. I don’t know.” I told her I would like to help her if I could. I asked if she would like me to bring my laptop to the bedroom and stay with her. She nodded. I returned and put on some music.

She never went back to sleep. I doubt that she had been to sleep since getting up to go to the bathroom at 7:45. Around 9:30, she sat up on the side of the bed. She was still confused, but she didn’t seem to be troubled the way she was earlier. She said, “What now?” I told her I thought it might be good for her to get dressed and get her something to eat. I mentioned getting a muffin. She didn’t say anything, but she looked as though she had never heard of a muffin.

I helped her to her feet and told her I wanted to show her something. We walked hand-in-hand to the hallway outside our bedroom. We stopped at a picture of her grandmother. I told her this was somebody very important to her. Then I explained that she was the first member of Kate’s family to attend TCU. She was pleased about that. I was glad to see her response because a few days ago I mentioned TCU, and it didn’t mean anything to her. That was a first.

After talking with her about her grandmother, I focused her attention on the next photo. It was her mother when she was around 19 or 20. Kate didn’t recognize her but was taken with the picture. As she often does, she noted her mother’s eyes and smile. She commented more extensively than usual on this and other pictures that I showed her. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but she interpreted her mother’s personality based on what she saw in her mother’s face. By this time, she seemed just fine.

We went on to two other photos, one of her grandfather on her father’s side and then her father. From there we walked into the family room where I showed her a picture of our daughter’s twin boys when they were about 5 or 6. As we entered the room, she said, “You’re really helping me.” She always likes children whether in person or photos. Thus, she was enthralled at the twins’ picture. Again, she tried to interpret their personalities from what she saw.

I took her to the sofa and asked her to sit down so that I could show her something else. I picked up the “Big Sister” album and called her attention to the cover picture. This time she didn’t recognize either herself or her brother, but she was taken with the children, especially their eyes and smiles.

We talked about them for a few minutes. Then she said she was cold. She was still in her nightgown and bare feet. I suggested we get her dressed. I helped her stand up and, as we walked to the bedroom, she said, “I’m bouncing back thanks to you.” I was particularly struck by her recognition that she was “bouncing back.” It had been thirty minutes since she had gotten out of bed. I was surprised that she could remember how she felt that long ago. Once again, we had found our way out of what might have been a crisis. It’s a relief when this happens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *