Sunday, August 14, 2011


Since I was a little girl, if Grandma went to bed and you were spending the night with her, then everyone went to bed.  Every once in awhile, I see that Grandma come to the surface.  Last Monday night was one of those rare occasions.

I told Daddy how much Grandma loved the rocking chairs at Crackerbarrel, so he and Mom went and got her one on Saturday.  They put it in her living room, and Grandma got upset with him for spending all that money on her and demanded he take it back.  So, when I arrived, I mentioned the rocking chair.  She went into how daddy spent that money and she needed him to take it back.  So, I lied to grandma.  I know... I felt bad as I did it.  I told her that I asked Daddy to get it for her.  She was so upset  that she thought when I said Daddy that I meant my Grandpa.  She called Grandpa "daddy" for as long as I can remember.  So, then I had to start talking about my dad by his first name.

Grandma and her new rocking chair.
So, Gary (my dad) went and got the rocking chair because I asked him to go get it.  This was true.  She said she remembers them being expensive.  Wow, Grandma, you can remember the chair being expensive, but you can't remember that I was there that day? Now, here is where the lie came into the conversation.  I told her that the chair was mine, and I didn't have a place for it.  I needed her to take care of it for me.  I also reminded her that she wanted one so badly and I couldn't get it in my car (That was true).  I told her that I wanted her to be happy and was willing to buy or do anything to make her happy (True).   She told me she didn't realize it was mine (Lie).

A normal family member would say 'thank you' and 'oh, that is so sweet'.  Not Grandma!  She told me how the rocking chair is going to be in her way when she starts building fires next month.  NEXT MONTH!  It is 108 degrees outside.  I don't see her building a fire next month.

I told her I would take it home when she started using the fireplace and until the winter was over.  She seemed to be ok with my story.  I could still feel that she didn't trust me completely.

I started talking to her about my cousin who came for a visit earlier that day. My cousin is going to start staying with her on weekends.   I explained to Grandma this was a good thing.  She started mumbling about how Gary needed to straighten up and do what he is supposed to do.  LOL.  She started talking about my dad like he was her little boy.  I guess in her mind and world, he still is her little boy.  I cannot even imagine what kind of mother she was like.  I just know the grandma side.  I bet she was one of those mommas that kept her boys in line, and if they didn't do their part, then someone was going to pay.

I once heard a story about my dad when he was a teenager.  According to what I remember, Grandma and Grandpa were gone and Daddy was out picking on this boy in the neighborhood.  Grandma and Grandpa pulled up and witnessed the incident.  Daddy says he never forgot the punishment he received for that that day.  LOL.

Ok, back to the main story.... My cousin is going to stay on weekends with Grandma.  I explained in detail. Gary has to work; he can't be there at night on the weekends.  I told her I couldn't stay with her on Saturday nights because I have to play the organ at my church on Sunday mornings.  She lit up when I told her I played the organ.  Grandma has always wanted to play the piano and has always loved hearing us play. Then, she started back in on Daddy and how he wasn't treating her right by leaving her with other people.  She didn't need a babysitter according to her.  I tried to explain that my cousin was not a babysitter.  She tried to understand and really took in everything I was saying, and then she forgot it.

If you have a loved one with dementia, this is not a one person job.  This disease takes its toll on your mental health.  With other diseases, you can find out what is going to happen next or what to expect.  With dementia, you don't know what to expect from day to day.  There is not a cure, no medicine that can change the disease, and no way to really get better in the "long run" of the disease.  You want to give up and give in and say forget it some days.  You look for answers all over the Internet on how things have worked for others.  To be honest, what works for one doesn't work for others.  The only thing that I have found on the Internet to help in most cases is to keep your loved one's mind stimulated with activities.  In our case, we keep Grandma stimulated by people coming to visit.  She loves company!!!

So, after answering all the questions about my girls again, we finally went to bed.  She checked on me several times.  I let her know I had all my defensive tools. (Read "Switching Teeth and Moving Out" to get a glimpse of my tools.)  She had her teeth each time she came in to my room until the third time.  I realized she had put them somewhere.  So, I decided to try something new and find them before we went to bed.  I went into the kitchen and couldn't find them anywhere.  I saw her light go out at this point.  I thought I could catch her before she went to sleep and get the teeth.  I tried to be very brave!!!!

I opened the door, and she had just laid down.  "Grandma, where did you put your teeth?  I want to be able to find them in the morning."  Well, she gets up and starts trying to find them.  She had already forgotten where she put them.  That crazy short term memory was messing us up once again!!!   Oh, she got fired up at me.  I realized quickly that this was not a good thing.  We looked and looked and looked.  NO TEETH!  So, I started calming her down and convincing her to go back to bed.  We will find them in the morning.

At that very moment, the Grandma I grew up with came out of her!  She yelled, not shouted, "Now, Carole Anne, we don't have time for your games at this time of night.  You need to get yourself in that bed in there, and I don't want to hear another word from you."  OH BOY!  I got in trouble.

I quickly ran down the hall and giggled all the way back to my room just like a little kid would do.  She hasn't gotten that fired up at me since I was at least 12 or 13 years old.  TOO FUNNY!!!

Oh, Grandma, I love you so!  If I thought you would remember, I would tell you that these are precious memories to me, and how you are letting me relive some of my past. LOL

Back in my room, I had to repent and pray for telling stories to grandma and for disobeying her by not going to bed and staying there like I was suppose to do.

Now, I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
If I should die, before I wake
I pray that grandma
Forgets all my lies and mistakes.

And she will.  LOL

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