As I was thinking about waking Kate at 10:45 yesterday morning, I heard her say something. It sounded like, “Are we going to get something to eat?” I was in the kitchen and walked to the bedroom where I discovered that she was both wide awake and cheerful. I said, “Good morning. I’m glad to see you. You look happy this morning.” She said, “I am happy and you are too.” I said, “I think we are both happy people. Maybe that’s what has kept us together so long.” She agreed. Except for her needing/wanting my help getting her up, she didn’t seem like a person with Alzheimer’s at all. There was no sign of confusion. That didn’t last long.
When got to the bathroom, she noticed a photo of our daughter Jesse. Kate loves this picture but never knows who the girl is. We went through our regular routine. She said, “Who is she?” I said, “your daughter.” She asked her name. Then she said, “She’s beautiful.” I said, “Just like her mother.” She said, “Who’s her mother?” When I told her, she was surprised and asked how that happened. I told her that she and I are married, and we had two children. This was one of those times she couldn’t accept that we are married, and I dropped the subject.
After finishing in the bathroom, I got her dressed quickly and easily. Everything was going well. Before leaving I said something that irritated her. I don’t know what it was, but I decided not to find out. She can’t ever explain. We listened to music all the way to lunch. Everything was fine when we got to the restaurant, and we enjoyed our time together while eating. Just before leaving, I misunderstood something she said, and she was irritated again. We listened to music all the way home. She was fine arrived.
She asked what she could do. I gave her two options: work on her iPad or we could look at one of her photo books together. She chose the iPad. I was a little surprised because she has been going directly to the sofa to rest. It was less than fifteen minutes before that was what she wanted. This was one of those occasions when she actually slept. She was asleep thirty to forty-five minutes.
Then she sat up and appeared very alert. It looked like she was going to get up, and I asked if she wanted to go to the bathroom. She said she thought she would walk around outside for a while. That was a big surprise. She hadn’t shown any interest in doing that for almost two years. She surprised me again when she said there is a man she sees working in his yard and she would probably talk with him a little. She was actually picking up on a memory from the past. In both our present and past houses, we have had neighbors who work in their yards a lot. Kate had often see them working, and they would talk a while.
I went with her. For the past year, I’ve had someone working to restore the flower beds after her excessive pruning of the shrubs. I took out eighteen that were dead or “beyond repair.” The weeds had also taken over. It’s beginning to take shape again, and I was eager to see her reaction.
Thankfully, we didn’t get too far. She quickly found a hydrangea and started pulling off the flowers and some of the branches. It is late in the season, so I wasn’t bothered by that. I was, however, concerned that she might start doing the same with some of the shrubs that are coming back. After a short time, she wanted to go back inside to rest.
When she was ready to get up, it was time for dinner. As we prepared to leave, she wanted to take several of her photo books with her. Something she said made me think she thought we had been visiting and were now leaving for home. I told her we were just going to eat and would be back soon.
She was quiet at dinner and didn’t seem to enjoy her meal. She had grilled shrimp and sides of fresh fruit and a cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese salad. I had a Greek salad with grilled shrimp. Knowing she loves shrimp, I asked if she would like some of mine. She said, “What’s that?” I picked up one and showed her. Then I noticed that she was putting scraps from her two sides on a paper napkin. I took notice because she usually puts them on the table.
Then she said, “When are they coming?” I said, “Who? I am not aware of anyone who is coming to see us?” She became irritated with me because she couldn’t tell me, and she thought I would know. As we talked, she became angry and spoke to me very sternly. She apologized for speaking to me that way. Then she started to cry. At this point, we were both finished with our meals. I tried to comfort her. Then I suggested we go home and relax.
When we got in the car, she apologized again. I said, “That’s all right.” She looked sad and said, “I might do it again.”
Once we were home, I turned on the TV to a concert of the music from My Fair Lady. I have discovered that she enjoys the music itself more than the movie. She loved it. When it was over, I played several scenes from the movie in which they sang songs she especially likes. We spent almost two hours doing this, and she was engaged the whole time. She was happy, and so was I. Music came to the rescue once again. It was a happy ending to a very strange day.