I don’t want to sound like the proverbial “broken record,” but Kate continues to be happy and to provide me with special moments. Knowing that this may not always be the case in the future, I guess I want to make a point of how well things are going right now.
Yesterday was a very good day. Kate was awake early, just before 8:00, and I spent the morning with her. When I returned from Rotary, she was still cheerful and talkative. She was glad to see me, and we talked a lot between then and our afternoon ice cream break.
It was after dinner when the first special moment occurred. It was the birthday of one of her childhood friends from Texas. I suggested we call her. Kate doesn’t usually express much interest in phone calls, but she thought it was a good idea. With most phone calls, she doesn’t say much. I’m always prepared to do what I can to prompt her and did some of that yesterday. The big surprise was how well she did. Not everything she said was understandable or made sense, but she was able to express her feelings toward her friend and convey how much she enjoyed talking with her.
That had gone so well that I decided to call one of her other childhood friends. She wasn’t home, so we left a message. I began the message by telling her that we were sorry to miss her and would try to call another time. Then I talked to Kate about her friend and gave her several prompts like, “I’m sorry we didn’t get to speak with her. That would have been nice, wouldn’t it?” To which she replied, “Wonderful.” It wasn’t a lengthy message, but once again, Kate rose to the occasion. I feel sure her friend will want to keep that message for a long time.
I couldn’t stop then. I recalled that a cousin of hers had recently asked me to call anytime Kate was up to it. This seemed like a great time, and it was. We talked for 10 minutes, and Kate was an active participant. By this time, what she said was more rooted in delusions, but I know her cousin understood and appreciated every word. It was a great conversation for all three of us.
After that call, we still had time before we needed to get Kate ready for bed, so I put on the album that mesmerized her when I played it a few weeks ago. It had the same effect this time. It was a very touching moment for both of us. She sang along with the music. That involved mostly whispering her own approximations of the lyrics but in sync with the rhythm of each song. We held hands for most of that time and, at one point, she took my hand and held it tightly in both of hers. Although much is lost with Alzheimer’s, both of us enjoy keeping romance alive. I am grateful.