More Happy Moments

I feel I’m becoming a broken record, but I also want to record as many “Happy Moments” as I can before they come to an end. As I have said before, Kate isn’t cheerful all the time. She is typically in a neutral state. During that time, she doesn’t appear happy or sad. In fact, she doesn’t ever feel sad, but she is frequently happy. Her happy moments occur most often in the afternoon and least common in the morning. That fits with the fact that she has never been a morning person.

Over the last year or so, and especially in recent months, she has been waking earlier, feeling at ease, and sometimes talking. On those days, I often get in bed beside her. Wednesday of this past week was one of those days. As usual, I understood only a few words she said, but it was a very special conversation during which I talked about our first date and how that led to many others leading up to our marriage. At one point, I said, “I love moments like this with you.” She said, “I do too.” Her words were as clear as though she didn’t have aphasia at all.  

That afternoon was also special. She was in a cheerful mood when I returned from lunch. We talked for a short time, and I read The Velveteen Rabbit to her. I used to read it frequently; but after a while, she seemed to lose interest. I thought the Alzheimer’s had made it too difficult for her to appreciate it. In recent months, I have read it to her with much better success. She used to respond audibly to much of what I read. It’s not the same now, but she listens quietly and appears to concentrate on what I am reading. It is clear that she enjoys listening, and I enjoy reading to her. I treasure these moments.

An Unusually Happy Moment

In my first post of the year, I said we were off to a good start. That was because we had just gotten a replacement for our previous Monday through Friday caregiver who left us for health issues of her own. Three months have passed since our new caregiver has been with us. She has made our lives much better; however, Kate has also gotten along very well during the first three months of the year. My previous posts have been filled with the “Happy Moments” we have shared this year. During the past week, we have had more of those.

One of those occurred last Wednesday. As I was returning home from lunch, I caught the tail end of an unusually Happy Moment. Kate and the caregiver were at the café in our retirement community where we go for ice cream each afternoon. When I approached them, I saw Kate and the caregiver with another resident sitting right in front of and facing Kate who was smiling. They were having a conversation.

What made this an especially rare moment is that the resident drops by almost every afternoon when we are having ice cream. Each time, she is looking for a smile or verbal response from Kate. That rarely happens. This time she hit the jackpot.

Of course, the resident could understand almost nothing that Kate was saying. Like me, she was simply enjoying the fact that Kate was so cheerful and talkative.

Later, I was surprised to learn that Kate had spoken several words or short sentences that were understandable. Here is one that our caregiver told me.

Resident: “I think Richard likes you.”

Kate: “Yes. He takes care of me.”

Since then, Kate has had several other days when she was especially cheerful and talkative.

I can’t explain why she is having so many more of these experiences, but they make everyone happy as well. I do know that when she is like this, she receives a lot of reinforcement from the people around her. That is certainly true for her caregivers and me, and we celebrate every Happy Moment.