Music and Rest

Even though I believe so strongly in the power of music, I am still occasionally surprised by experiences with Kate. Day before yesterday, she did two things that I didn’t expect. The first occurred as we were about get into our car after lunch. I told Kate I loved her. I have no idea why, but I immediately thought of that old song “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck.” I can’t remember the last time I heard it. It certainly isn’t a song one hears very often.

When I got in the car, I googled it and pulled up a rendition by Doris Day. After she had sung the line “I love you a bushel and a peck,” Kate sang the following line in sync with the music – “A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” Of all the names of people, places, and things that have been lost in her memory, how did this one pop into her mind, and so quickly? I thought for a moment. Then I asked myself if this was any more puzzling than my remembering the song itself when I said, “I love you.” I’ve said that thousands of times without making that connection. Why did I make it this time? We have so much to learn about the brain.

The other incident occurred the same day. We were in the car, and “If Ever I Would Leave You” was playing. It wasn’t long before she said, “I would never leave you.” I took note of her remark because of her emotional experience with another song that was sung at Casa Bella last week. I had wondered to what extent she was able to make a connection between the words of a song and our own relationship. My guess was that she was moved by the music and lyrics but probably didn’t make a connection to us. I still think that. On the other hand, this week’s experience let’s me know that she is able to process more of what is said than I usually believe or report in this blog.

I have, however, noted that she often gives evidence of rather keen insights concerning what is going on around her and between the two of us. I take these experiences as examples of her intuitive abilities, and they continue to work amazingly well. One of those occurred last night as we left Casa Bella. She thanked me for trying to keep her from “making an idiot of myself.” While I always assure her that she gets along fine, she recognizes the many problems she has. Without a memory, she can’t remember all the things each of us does when we are eating out and feels insecure. Sometimes, as she did last night, she worries about how to order her meal. She kept picking up the menu and asking for my help. Each time I told her what I selected and would order for both of us. She was relieved, but she couldn’t remember. She asked for help another 6-7 times before the server took our order. There were a number of other things for which she needed help. It’s hard to imagine the pressure she must feel in situations like this.

Perhaps it is this kind of pressure she experiences throughout the day that is now causing her to rest more. She is making a habit out of resting immediately after we get home from lunch. That happens even on the days she has slept as late as 11:00. The length of time she rests is also increasing. After lunch, she sometimes rests until time for us to leave for dinner. In addition, two nights this week she has gone to bed shortly after 7:30.

The good news is that she continues to be happy even in situations like last night. I believe it is good for her to get out despite the challenges. I am hopeful about continuing a while longer.

A Successful Evening at Casa Bella with a Emotional Finale

Last night was Opera Thursday at Casa Bella. As I have said before, their music nights have been very important to us both from an entertainment standpoint as well as socially. Recently, however, I have been concerned because we often have six and sometimes eight people at our table. Large groups are difficult for Kate. She does much better when we are with one other couple. That has led me to think about the possibility of our moving to a table by ourselves. I haven’t mentioned that to the owner of the restaurant, and the last time we were there everything was fine. Last night was even better.

Our seating arrangement varies a little from night to night depending on the number of people at the table. The men have followed an unspoken rule that our wives sit on the side of the table facing the singers while we have our backs to them. I started to seat Kate where she sits most often. She asked where I was going to sit. I pointed to the seat across from hers and said, “I’ll be right there across from you.” She said, “I want you to sit beside me.” This is in keeping with her increasing insecurity and desire to be with me and to hold my hand. Not wanting to take the seat of the woman who would be joining us later, I helped her into the seat beside me on the other side of the table. That meant she couldn’t easily see the singers, I felt the priority was being closer together. That turned out to be a good thing for two reasons.

First, the son of the couple we always sit with was there. He took a seat at the end of the table with his mother on his right and Kate on his left. His father took the seat across from me. Although Kate can never remember the couple, she always feels comfortable with them. They are always able to put her at ease. This made for a good social experience for her.

The second reason the seating worked out well related to Kate’s response to the music. As I have noted a number of times, her emotions are exaggerated more than in the past. The music was especially good, and Kate responded accordingly. Most of the evening she didn’t respond audibly the way she sometimes does, but she was visibly moved.

The most dramatic moment came during the last song of the last set when they often sing a few ballads or showtunes. Last night they ended with “For Good” from Wicked. In the musical, this is a duet sung by Glinda and Elphaba who tell each other their lives have been changed for good by the other.

Although Kate has difficulty following conversations, I am often surprised when she responds to specific words or phrases in songs. She picks up far more than I expect. In this case, I believe she was moved by both the music and the lyrics. She began to whimper very soon and held my hand throughout the song. During the last couple of stanzas, she was moved even more. As the song ended, she put her head on my shoulder and her arm around my neck and broke into a cry. She wasn’t loud, but people nearby would have easily noticed. As we hugged, I saw a couple at the table beside us who were looking on. They are aware of Kate’s diagnosis and have been very compassionate in their response to her. When the program ended, they came over and gave her a hug.

For me it was also an emotional moment. I can’t know exactly what she was thinking. I do know that she recognizes she has “a problem” and that she needs me. I know she understands certain words and phrases from songs. Did she understand the words of the song and draw a connection to our relationship? Was she simply moved by the music and not the lyrics? I only know it was an very emotional moment.

Morning Confusion Continues

I was just finishing up yesterday’s blog post when I heard Kate call my name. I started for the bedroom when I heard her call again. She didn’t smile when I entered the room, but she was relieved to see me. She was experiencing a milder anxiety attack than she had a couple of days ago. She didn’t appear to be as frightened, simply confused. It was another case of her memory’s being almost blank. She felt insecure and kept expressing that she felt better that I was with her. Despite her calling me by name, she didn’t remember either my name or our relationship. She clearly felt secure with me. She specifically commented that my tone of voice made her feel better and said she knew that I wouldn’t let anything happen to her.

I brought the “Big Sister” album to her. She recognized herself in the picture on the cover; however, I ran into a problem when I tried to go through the book with her. She was lying flat on the bed with her head on a pillow. It was awkward holding the book so that she could easily see the pictures. We decided to look at it later.

Then I started talking about her family. Although she was interested, it was too much information for her. As I had done the past two mornings, I played music for her. We turned our attention to it. The impact yesterday was greater than I have seen before. They were all choral pieces with beautiful harmony and soothing melodies. She was particularly moved by “Danny Boy,” “Deep River,” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” Most of the time she held my hand or put her hand on my arm. A few times she asked me not to talk. She just wanted to listen to the music. At one point she shed a few tears. It was a very tender moment for both of us.

It was also a sad moment. She was still confused though uplifted by the music. She continues to have a sense that she is not all right. I think back to the times when I have heard people say, “At least she doesn’t know.” Kate may not know the name for it, but she knows she has a problem. How long will that last?

I stayed with her for over an hour. She was feeling better. I asked if she would like to go to the bathroom. She got up easily and took a shower. Most of the time, she didn’t know my name or our relationship, but she was quite comfortable with my helping her with toileting, showering, and dressing.

She was ready early enough for me to take her to Panera for a muffin before the sitter came at noon. Kate didn’t express any concern when Cindy arrived and I left for the Y. When I got home, they weren’t there. Kate hadn’t wanted any lunch until 3:00, so they had gone out for lunch. I am sure that had something to do with her having had a muffin not too long before Cindy arrived. I also believe Cindy is more passive with her than I would like. I think another sitter might have said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go get some lunch.” Kate might have responded more positively to that.

Kate may not have rested before they went to lunch because she was tired when they got back. I let her rest for an hour and a half before going to dinner. She didn’t sleep during that time. She just relaxed while listening to the music I played for her. She was ready for bed earlier than usual but was awake when I got in bed a couple of hours later.

During the night, she apparently had a dream. She was kicking her feet. I put my arm around her, and started to comfort her. She misinterpreted me and said, “No” in a very stern voice. Then she grabbed my hand and squeezed it very hard and held it for several minutes before she relaxed and dropped it. I don’t think she had been awake at all.

There is a lot going on in her brain right now. I just wish I could fully understand it.

Confusion and Mood Control

When I woke Kate yesterday, she was confused about me. She was very suspicious of me. This was unlike the day before when she didn’t recognize me as her husband from 5:00 until I went to bed last night. At least she seemed comfortable with me. That wasn’t true yesterday morning. It was somewhat awkward for her because she was completely dependent on me to get her to the bathroom and ready for the day.

I decided not to push her or try to explain anything. I just helped her get ready. When she was dressed, I told her I wanted to show her something. She followed me into the hallway off our bedroom where we have several pictures of her family. We stopped at the first one. I said, “This is your grandmother Franklin.” She smiled, and her eyes lit up.” I told her that was her father’s mother and there was something special about her that she would like to know. I said, “She was the first member of your family to go to TCU.” (a bigger smile) Then I told her we have a grandson who is the 60th member of her family to attend TCU, and his sister will join him in the fall. She was coming around.

The next picture is one of her mother that must have been taken in her late teens. It’s a beautiful photo and one of my favorites. I explained that she was her mother. It was no surprise that Kate was drawn to her smile and commented on how beautiful she was. We continued down the hallway and looked at pictures of her grandfather as well as her father. By that time her mood had changed dramatically. I don’t mean to suggest that she now understood that I was her husband, only that she was happy.

From that point we went into the family room where I showed her several other family pictures. As usual, she also admired the plants on the patio. Then I took her into the kitchen for her morning meds, and we left for lunch. I played music that I know she likes all the way to the restaurant.

When we returned home, I asked if she would like to work puzzles on her iPad or look at some of her family photo books. She noticed an album of her father’s family and picked it up. I asked if she would like me to help her with it. She said no. I went to the kitchen work on my computer. An hour later, she wanted to rest and spent the next two hours lying on the sofa. I brought my laptop into the room so that I could sit with her. I don’t think she ever went to sleep. After a while, I asked if we might look at family pictures together. She said she would but “later.” She said she just wanted to relax. I let her do that another half hour before going to dinner.

After dinner, she picked up a coloring book I bought for her about two weeks ago. She hadn’t shown any interest in it before. This time she opened it and spent at least forty-five minutes going through it. It is a big book – 200 pages. I was surprised she could spend that much time looking at it. She didn’t even take the crayons out of the box. When I suggested that we go back to the bedroom, she said she just wanted to finish the last few pages. I told her that would be fine. I was very curious as to what she was doing. There is nothing to read, only cartoon-like figures and shapes to color. When I looked over her shoulder, I saw that she was meticulously going through each page, touching each drawing or part of a figure on each page. She was pushing them the way she touches the screen of the iPad. Of course, nothing would happen, and she moved to the next one. I am still puzzled that she went through the entire book that way. She never appeared to be frustrated. Looking at her from across the room, it appeared that she was enjoying herself. It’s just one other thing that puzzles me.

She wanted to do something else once we went to the bedroom. She didn’t want to work on her iPad or look at photo books. She said she would like to read something. I gave her the three-ring binder that I call her “Memory Book.” It contains a variety of information about her and her family as well as our courtship and marriage. When I gave it to her, she didn’t know what to do with it. I explained that it was information about her life and that she could just read through it. She still didn’t understand. I read the initial information and then turned it over to her. She started touching selected words on the page just the way she had done with the coloring book earlier. When I explained that the book was different than her iPad, that touching the words would not take her to something else, she closed the book. I decided it was best not to push it.

She was already in bed. I told her I would put on some YouTube videos and pulled up a mix of videos of The Three Tenors, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Andre Rieu. She listened to the music for over an hour while lying in bed. She was very happy, just another example of the power of music.

We experienced only one other hiccup before going to sleep. When I got into the bed, I frightened her. She apparently had forgotten I was there. When I spoke, she realized who it was and was relieved.

As you can tell, there is a lot going on in our lives right now. Apart from these moments, we had a good day. We enjoyed good moments together, and, except for frightening her, the day ended on a high note. What is encouraging is that even with her moments of confusion and feeling down, I still find it possible to find a way to bring her back. I hope that is something that will endure for a while longer.

My Experiment with Another Movie

For most of our marriage, especially before having children and after they left home, Kate and I have enjoyed movies. It was natural to include them among the variety of priorities on which we focused after her diagnosis. We found the best selection of movies at a local arts theater and have been members for many years. As Kate’s Alzheimer’s progressed, she was no longer able to follow a plot. At first, I thought that might be the end of movies for us. I discovered, however, that she could still enjoy some of them without understanding the plot at all. I was surprised but soon recognized what is obvious that there is more to a movie than a plot. Movies grab their audiences with a host of emotions that we experience directly by our senses of sight and hearing. We can enjoy the appeal of the characters, the beauty of the scenery, visible forms of humor, and music.

For Kate, enjoyment was heavily influenced by the nature of the characters and the seriousness or importance of the film’s focus. She liked upbeat movies with likeable characters. On the other hand, she liked more serious films like Darkest Hour. In that case, she was able to recognize the seriousness of war and its impact on the world. At the time, she also recognized the importance of Churchill. The whole tone of the movie appealed to her.

The last two movies that appealed to her were documentaries, RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor. We saw RBG twice and Neighbor four times. She had a strong positive feeling for each of them even though she didn’t remember them before the movies. In addition, she could sense they had led lives that had great impact.

Our moving going had already tapered off before those films. After that, I tried one or two movies without any success. She was confused and bored. I have been looking for what I thought would be the “right” movie since then. That occurred two weeks ago when I learned Pavarotti was playing. Kate has been especially drawn to opera in recent years. I decided to give it a try yesterday afternoon.

While we were at lunch, I told Kate that we would be going to a movie. I told her it was a documentary of Pavarotti. She didn’t remember him even when I told her a little about him. For the most part I was not surprised. She is forgetting most names. Why not Pavarotti’s? On the other hand, he does come up periodically in our conversation, especially in connection with some of the YouTube videos we watch in the evening. We have watched a few of his solo performances as well as those with The Three Tenors. I guess I had hoped that she might recognize the name. If she had, I would have taken that as a sign that she might have an interest in the movie. That didn’t happen.

Once the movie began, I was very optimistic. I could tell she was interested. There were a number of emotional moments during the film when she and I were both moved by the music. She held my hand and squeezed it tightly. She enjoyed his singing, but there were also times when she said, “You’re ‘gonna’ have to help me with this. I don’t understand.” She repeated that when the movie ended. Instead of getting up to leave, I talked with her briefly. I asked if she had liked it. She said, “I don’t know. I didn’t understand it.” I suggested that the important part was that she liked the music. That didn’t make any sense to her either. I found this interesting. I was trying to get her to rely on her intuitive abilities, and she was focusing on her deficit of rational abilities.

All-in-all I have to give Kate’s experience “mixed reviews.” I had hoped that she would leave with a good feeling about having gone, but she didn’t. By the time we reached the car, she didn’t remember seeing the movie. I probably won’t take her to another one. I’ll add this to the growing list of things that we are dropping from our lives.

The Pleasure of Intuitive Thought

I can’t stress enough how much pleasure Kate and I have enjoyed because she has retained her intuitive abilities. They are the ones that depend on her direct experience with the world around her through her senses. She doesn’t have to remember the names of people, places, and things to enjoy beauty, music, and connections with people. I am encouraged by the knowledge that they can continue much longer than we imagine.

When we visited Ellen in her memory care facility the other day, I took notice of the way in which the residents expressed their pleasure with the singing led by Emily, the music lady who visits the facility two Sunday afternoons a month. With the possible exception of Ellen, all of the residents are much further along in their dementia than Kate, but they were delighted by the music. Only one of the ten or so residents took the floor and danced, but one other remained in her seat tapping her feet and her hands with the beat. There were many smiles around the room. It was a moment of pleasure for them and for Kate and me as well. Yes, we sang along with them.

I am glad we don’t have to depend on someone to come in twice a month. We play music all the time. It is a rare moment when music is not playing. We never tire of it. In fact, Kate’s senses seem to be more alive now than ever as her rational abilities fade away. I witnessed a good example of that yesterday afternoon. First, a digression.

Even during the winter when the trees were bare, Kate enjoyed looking at the dense growth of trees in the neighbor’s property behind our house. During spring, she took pleasure in the growth of new leaves. More recently, I put out a variety of potted plants on our patio and two pots of violet colored petunias inside our family room. Every time she walks through the room she stops and looks at all of them. Each time is like the first time she has seen them. She loves to bring my attention to several that are her favorites.

When the sitter left yesterday afternoon, Kate was lying on the sofa facing the sliding glass doors to our patio and the neighbor’s property. Generally, she has wanted to leave the house as soon as the sitter leaves, but she was enjoying looking at the trees. I put on an album by Alfie Boe. It began with “Bring Him Home.” That has always been a favorite of hers. That didn’t stop her enjoyment of the beauty outside. It just added an extra measure of pleasure for her. When the album was over, I played two different renditions of “Send in the Clowns,” another longtime favorite. Thirty minutes passed before I suggested we look at one of her family photo books. She said, “I’d like that, but let’s do that later.” She just wanted to enjoy the beauty of nature and music. I kept looking over to see if she might be falling asleep. What I saw were beautiful expressions of pleasure. Often she was mouthing the words to the songs. Occasionally, she would point out something she wanted me to see.

After dinner last night, I gave her the “Big Sister” album. She spent about an hour looking at it. Even though she doesn’t recognize everyone, she enjoys looking through it and other albums.

I have been increasingly concerned about the difficulty she has working puzzles on her iPad. That has been so important for her for such a long time, but maybe her intuitive abilities will open other doors for pleasure in the days ahead. I hope so.

A Good Evening at Casa Bella

Jazz night at Casa Bella last month did not go as well for Kate as it usually does. Two differences accounted for that. The first was the way we were seated. I sat diagonally across from Kate instead of directly across from her. That meant she would forget where I was and was a bit insecure. It also made it more difficult for her to participate in the conversation as no one sat beside her until I took that seat a little later. The second was the music itself. Most jazz nights include an abundance of old ballads that everyone our age easily recognizes. A new group of musicians performed, and their selections tilted toward less vocal and more contemporary jazz. It was not something that Kate enjoyed. I understood that at the time. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help being concerned about future evenings and what they might be like.

I am glad to report that we had a good time last night. I made sure that I sat across from Kate so that it would have been hard for her to miss me. We sat with the couple whose company we have enjoyed for the past five to six years. Late in the evening, the couple’s daughter and her husband joined us. We have also known them for many years. The musicians were the same group as last month, but they played a lot of old ballads familiar to the audience. The crowd was made up largely of seniors, mostly 65 and older. It was a very receptive audience. Of course, my only concern was Kate, and she enjoyed the evening as well. That is what matters most.

On a few occasions, I have said something about Kate’s eating habits. Though she does use her fork most of the time, she also picks up her food with her hands. I was especially mindful of that last night. We split a mahi piccata with linguini. She had finished most of her meal when I noticed that she was picking up the last bit of linguini and the capers with her hand. I don’t know whether anyone else at the table saw her, but it is the kind of thing that will be noticed sometime. It makes me wonder if we will reach a stage when I think it best not to be at a table with others. So far, it hasn’t been a problem. Even if our friends notice, they are very understanding.

Day before yesterday at lunch, we had a similar experience. She eats most sandwiches by taking them apart, separating the meat, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Then she usually picks up the various pieces in her hand. That day she had a hamburger. I cut it into four quarters to make it easier for her to handle, but she took everything apart anyway. To me it looks a bit like a child’s plate with all the pieces of her hamburger strewn about, but there is something about sorting through the items that she likes. It could be that she is looking for things she might not like, perhaps onions, although I am very careful to omit onions from anything I order for her.

Contrasting Social Situations and Kate’s Response

It seems that Kate’s current behavior is, in part, related to the situations in which she finds herself. Yesterday, she reacted very differently to two social situations. The first was lunch with our senior pastor. As I had done when we met my Twitter friend last weekend, I made sure that she was seated directly across the table from him. He was also good about including her in our conversation. Kate responded accordingly. He and I did most of the talking, but she was also an active participant. Both of us enjoyed our time together. I doubt that our pastor could see much difference in her since we had lunch together two to three months ago.

Last night was an altogether different experience. We went to Casa Bella for Broadway night. We sat at a table for ten, and the talking was louder than usual. Often when we arrive there is only one other couple with whom we sit each time. That enables her to establish a comfort level. Last night, we were the first ones there. Shortly after, the rest of the group arrived. I think this was overwhelming for Kate even though everyone was good about speaking to her.

While we were waiting for our server to bring our meal, Kate started looking around the room. She looked very concerned. She said, “Where did she go?” I said, “Who do you mean?” She said, “The woman who came with us.” I told her it was just the two of us, that nobody came with us. She didn’t seem convinced.

Until the food arrived fifteen minutes later, she was very uncomfortable. She said that she was looking for her food. I told her they were preparing it, and it would be coming soon. She continued to be very bothered and wanted me to speak with the server. At one point, she caught the eye of our server and motioned for her to come to her. Before she could ask about our meal, I told the server we were fine, and she walked away. Kate’s distress continued until the meal arrived. Then she devoted her attention to eating.

On a typical music night, Kate would have loved the music. She did respond well to two or three numbers but expressed little enthusiasm for the overall program. The singers were outstanding, but they sang a lot of Sondheim’s music. It was not as melodic as she likes. She was glad when we left.

The whole experience made me wonder what the future holds in terms of our attendance at these music nights. They have played an important part in our lives for the past six or seven years. Last night, she did not enjoy herself the way she has in the past. She seemed to be bordering on causing a scene because her food had not arrived when she thought it should. I’ll just have to play this by ear in the future. If we are going to continue sitting at a large table, I may experiment by getting a table for two. Crowds appear to be a growing problem.

Mood and Conversation

In my previous post I commented on Kate’s less-than-cheerful mood and a change in her conversation. She just hasn’t been talkative lately. That changed yesterday. I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but I can’t. All I can tell you is a summary of what happened.

She was up about 7:30 and went to the bathroom. This was a day when she wanted to express her independence. She didn’t want my help. I walked her to the bathroom. Then I went back to the kitchen where I could watch on the video cam to see when she had finished. After a while, I hadn’t seen her and wondered if she had come out without my noticing. Then I heard the shower. I was happy about that since she was due for one. I also knew that she would want to return to bed afterwards. That would give me a little time to take care of a few things I needed to do. It wasn’t too long before she was in bed again.

From past experience, I knew that she could easily sleep another couple of hours, but I kept checking the video cam. (In case you wondered, my iPad with the video sits to the right of my computer.) At 10:45, she had shown no sign of getting up. I went back to wake her. When I approached the bed, I saw that she was awake and asked if she would like me to take her to lunch. She gave me a confused looked as though she wasn’t sure who I was.

When I sat down on the bed, I said, “I’d like to take you to lunch.” She said, “Where are my clothes?” I always put them on the chair about three feet from her side of the bed, but she can’t remember. I pointed and told her where they were. Then she said, “What do I do now?” I told her she should get dressed. As I helped her into a sitting position, I noticed that she looked frightened. She said, “I sure am glad to see you.” On one or two other occasions, she has been awake but didn’t get up because she didn’t know what to do or where she was. I quickly assumed (correctly) that was what happened this time. She was shaking as she talked. She said, “I didn’t know what to do.” Then I felt terrible for not checking on her earlier, something I will watch more carefully in the future. I apologized and told her how bad I felt. When I did that, she immediately tried to ease my guilt. She said, “Well, it’s going to be all right now? <pause> Isn’t it?” I nodded, but she wanted me to be more affirming and again said, “Isn’t it?” I assured her it was. She still appeared to be shaken by the experience.

Unlike her earlier desire to assert her independence, she wanted me to guide her through every step she needed to take to get ready. She was too emotional to think straight about everything she needed to do. On a normal day she has difficulty, but the emotional experience she had had exacerbated the problem. Several times she reiterated how scared she had been.

On the way to, during, and after lunch she was quite talkative. While we were eating, we had a conversation similar to one I reported on a couple of weeks ago. The first one involved Christopher Columbus. She asked who he was. I tried not to get into anything too overwhelming for her to understand. She asked questions about everything. That meant it did get too complicated for her, but she was still eager to know more. I had to repeat just about everything two or three times without her ever getting it, but she was interested anyway. Somehow the conversation drifted to food that was in the New World and introduced into the Old. I Googled a list of such items and read them to her. She was like a little child discovering something she had never thought about. She couldn’t believe they didn’t always have things like potatoes or corn in Europe before then.

The next topic was World War II. She started this one when she brought up the topic of discrimination. I mentioned the Holocaust and Hitler. We didn’t get too far on that one because she got too emotional. She was both interested and shocked. She is more emotional now and starts to cry at both happy and sad things she hears about.

We got home a short time before the sitter arrived. I didn’t tell Kate that Mary was coming. I just let her in. Kate welcomed her. I told her I was going out for while. She said, “We’ll be fine.” Once again, I left with a good feeling. When I returned, they were sitting in the family room talking happily.

After Mary left, we went to dinner. When we returned home, we sat down in the family room. Ordinarily, I would watch the news while she works on her iPad. She had been in such a good mood that I didn’t want to break it by watching the news. I turned on a Barbra Streisand album as Kate started to open her iPad. The first song I selected was “Send in the Clowns.” It has always been a favorite of hers. Instead of working a puzzle, she put the iPad down and just listened. Then I to selected a number of others that I knew or thought she would like. We sat there together for an hour just enjoying the music. She loved it. I did as well, but the real treat was sharing such a happy moment together. I feel fortunate that we can have moments like these, especially this late in her disease.

Examples of Kate’s Intuitive Abilities

Kate continues to amaze me with her intuitive abilities. For example, today as we walked from the car to the restaurant for lunch, she said something to which I responded differently than she expected. She was surprised, and I said, “You mean you think I’m predictable?” She laughed and said, “Are you kidding?” I don’t know that predictable is quite the right word, but I do have rather predictable patterns. She regularly makes comments about my personal quirks/behavior, and she is always right even when she can’t remember my name or who I am.

Another incident happened after we returned home. It was preceded by my playing an album of choral music that she likes. Sometimes she likes to sing along with the music though neither of us can remember all the words. One of the songs on the album is “Comin’ through the Rye.” She wanted to sing it, but we couldn’t make out enough of the words. At home, she wanted us to sing it. I told her I would have to look up the lyrics. When I did, I found the original Robert Burns poem on which the song is based. Of course, it had the Scottish expressions. That didn’t work. She asked me to sing something else. Without thinking, I started singing “Amazing Grace.” We sang a few bars before she said, “That doesn’t sound very appropriate.” I felt the same way. It just popped in my head, but it didn’t seem like the most appropriate song for us to sing at that moment. Now, I’m glad I did because it shows how sharp she can be when it comes to her intuitive abilities.