Wednesday, August 4, 2010

89 and Doing Fine

"It is Tuesday today, right?"  asked Gaga.  "Actually, today is Wednesday," I replied.  "Hmmm, are you sure?" she asked.  "Yes, I had Bible study today," I answered.  Today was a good day so far.  Gaga had gotten herself dressed, which, I'm embarrassed to admit, doesn't always happen.  It's not that I have to help her get dressed, it's just that some days she refuses to get dressed.  Perhaps the worst part of the "dress-less" days are seeing her sit in her dark room wearing a worn-out fuzzy pink bathrobe.  Oh how I hate that bathrobe!  I'm torn between letting it go and being tough.  Being tough, insisting that she gets dressed, requires a great deal of effort.  Letting go, on the other hand, is easy, but then I feel like I'm giving up on her.  Never one to take the easy path, I'm committed and determined to help Gaga battle Alzheimer's disease.

"Wow, would you look at's past noon," she announced.  I had leftovers in the fridge and was ready to prepare lunch for the boys.  We are blessed to have a well-stocked fridge and cupboards.  Gaga seated herself at the table and ordered me to get her some milk.  Even though I was making lunch for the boys, I cringed.  Although she's eighty-nine, she is in great physical shape.  Why can't she pour herself a glass of milk and reheat her own leftovers?  I chalk it up to human nature - why do something for yourself when you can ask someone else?  Perhaps I let a little of my frustration show, because she seems overly grateful by the catering.

When she is finished eating, I inform her that I made an appointment for her to get a pedicure next week.  At age 89, she's informed us that she doesn't need more "stuff," so for the past few holidays and birthdays, we've given her pedicures at favorite spa so she could get pampered.  She stared blankly at me and asked what I was talking about.  I reminded her that, just last week, we'd given her a gift card for a pedicure.  She said, "I'm so out of it.  What's a pedicure?"   I take a deep breath and explain what a pedicure is, and remind her of the Belinda's Spa, the place she has been going to for nearly five years to get pedicures.  "Oh, that's nice, but who's going to do my fingernails?"  she asks.  Now, I've known Gaga for over sixteen years, and not once has she ever had a manicure.

Whew!  I'm off the hook!  The young son just ate the old son's chicken, and I resume lunch duty again.  I never did answer Gaga's question about her fingernails...I'll probably have plenty of time tomorrow when the scenario repeats itself.

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