Yesterday I commented on what I usually term Kate’s growing childlike condition. A better way of describing much of her behavior is to say she seems to have lowered her inhibitions. So far this has not presented a problem, but I can see that it might do so in the future. Here are two examples. On Sunday while we were seated on the front row at our combined adult Sunday school class, she was quite tickled at the performances of two of our associate pastors who were reading and acting out the parts of devils in C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Her laughter was quite audible but never a problem. Once again, however, this has not been characteristic of her in the past. The second example occurred last night at a reception for the symphony. The MC was introducing a number of people to congratulate for their contributions in making for another successful season. When he got to our Executive Director Kate yelled out “Go, Peggy.” This response was not loud enough to be noticed by more than a few immediately around us, but, once again, this is not normal behavior for her. Besides that she is not close to Peggy at all.
On another front this morning we had another example of her memory’s failing. Today we are going to Nashville to pick up our youngest grandchild, Taylor. Around 7:30, I told her that we would leave around 9:30. About an hour later, I noted that we had not discussed where Taylor would sleep and that he had slept in her office the last time he was here. She said she would clean up the office so that he could do so again. I noticed a short time later that she was in her office cleaning up. Then I went to get gas in the car and to buy iced tea and lemonade from Chick-fil-A. When I returned at 8:40, she was outside pruning shrubbery along the driveway. I stopped and reminded her we would be leaving in about 45 minutes. She asked where we were going. I told her, “To pick up Taylor in Nashville.” She said, “Oh, yeah.” Then she told me she wanted to stay out another 30 minutes before coming in to get ready. When I came inside and went to her office, I noticed that she had not cleaned it up. It is an absolute mess. Fortunately, we don’t have to leave as early as I had planned. We can leave an hour later and still have time for lunch and to get to the airport on time. I simply report this incident as another illustration of what things are like.
One other thing I should mention is that although Kate seems less worried or bothered by her condition, there are some situations that do frustrate her. One of those occurred as we were getting ready for last night’s reception. I had noticed that although I had bought her new clothes early in the spring, she has not been wearing them. She asked me where they were, and I told her they were in the front of the closet. When I went to get them, I noticed that there were only 2 of 5 pants there and a couple of tops. She could tell I was frustrated over their not being there and said tearfully, “I just can’t do anything right.” She is pretty much correct about this. And this occurs during a period of time when she is so desirous of being able to do things for herself. This is the first time in a while that I have heard her express such a sentiment. It serves to remind me that the person with Alzheimers knows she is failing and finds it frustrating and no doubt frightening. This current struggle for a way to retain her independence is illustrated by her wanting a calendar for the refrigerator. That is something she mentioned to me several times before we got it at Staples over the weekend. It seems to me a desperate attempt to regain control of her life. And, of course, she and I know it is a losing battle. What a tragedy this is.