We live in a two-story house. Things that are upstairs should stay upstairs. One reason is it is too heavy to bring downstairs or if I put it downstairs it will get lost. Our downstairs is the Bermuda triangle for missing socks, earrings, abandoned neighborhood pets and dementia patients. (More on that later and also keep reading you’ll see why there is a picture of Wham over there.)
My husband who is not superstitious or easily frightened mentioned that the upstairs TV trays have been sitting by the front door every morning. They are a bit bulky and a pain to carry up and down the stairs. He said maybe we have a poltergeist that also leaves all the downstairs lights on when it moves the trays.
When I got home from work last Friday, my flower vase was on the floor and a trail of my daughter’s earrings were in the hallway. Was it a fashionable ghost or the shenanigans of “Graceldoor,” my mom, Grace? As you remember from my other blog post, “Graceldoor” is her Lord of the Rings name.
I went in Mom’s room to find her sound asleep while wearing my favorite pink jogging jacket accessorized with one of my daughter’s dangling lime green earrings. There were a few pony tail holders on her night stand. She has a very short hair cut so I don’t know where the pony tail bands were going. I didn’t want to wake her for many reasons. She looked like she was dressed for a “Wham”concert reunion. I really love George Michael but I just got home from work and wasn’t in the mood for an 80′s concert at the moment.
Just as I was making my get-away and leaving her room, Mom awakens. She said, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you. Someone keeps putting these things in my room. It’s so nice that someone shopped for me and leaves these beautiful earrings.” I’m tired from work so I said, “Maybe it’s the elves from the elf and the shoemaker or the band members of Wham but in your case, instead of shoes, it’s jewelry.” Mom laughed at that and said “I love your humor, Angie. It always makes me feel better.” I was being sarcastic but if it makes her feel better, I’m glad.
Just then my daughter Haley comes in and says, “Mom, I’ve been missing some earrings and when I get ready to leave I only have one of each pair… Um… Oh…” Then she sees them all on my mom’s bed and quietly collected them while I distracted Mom. She went out laughing.
Later that same night I hear a bump in the hallway upstairs. I thought my dog Rusty was running down the stairs taking my tiger slippers again. Through sleepy eyes I see my mom dragging her TV tray down the steps. I don’t say anything. Is this the same person who can hardly walk to the kitchen table? At night I guess she has super human strength and moves her TV tray to the front door, sneaks cookies in a single bound, goes back in her room and leaves all the lights on. That’s what I saw. So that explains why the lights are all on when I get up, why the cookies are all gone and how the TV tray appears in front of the front door every morning.
So I am relieved to know that we don’t have a designer ghost, Mom still has a sense of style even if it’s haute neon 80′s at the moment and that I can laugh and take things in stride more often now.
I share these comical events in dementia care to let you know you’re not alone and if you look closely there is something to smile about at least once a day. I laugh with Mom so when I write I am not making fun of her. I feel bad for her condition and she even laughs at the things that happen sometimes.
The days can be bad, I know. On those days I can’t laugh about anything. If you’re having one of those dark days I hope I made you laugh. Well, I’m off to listen to my “Best of George Michael” CD while I finish writing my first caregiving comedy book. It should be finished by the end of this month!
Take care and “Choose Life.” That was my favorite 80′s t-shirt slogan I wore in high school. You can also follow me on twitter @angelaholmesart.
- Graceldoor and the Three Bedrooms: Someone’s Been Sleeping in My Bed (caregiving.com)
- Caregiver Bloopers: Mom’s Appointments, Vicodin, Viagra and Volkswagens (caregiving.com)
- Should I Call? (caregiving.com)
- Book Review: Forever a Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- Co-Caregiving: Recognizing the Pitfalls and Avoiding the Sinkholes (caregiving.com)
- Video Chat Today: Co-Caregiving in a Marriage (caregiving.com)
- Co-Caregiving: Developing into a Team (caregiving.com)
- The Balm for Caregiving Pain (caregiving.com)