Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Family Reunion 2011

Grandma telling Shelby to become a nurse.

Visiting with Aunt Audrey and talking about Grandpa.  Love Her!

Grandma and Shelby

Grandma and Kiley

Grandma getting her picture made with Grandpa's brother and sister.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

WWGD?  What Would Grandma Do?

I went to Grandma's house a little late.  I took my sister to distract Grandma while I looked for her teeth.  The entire time I was trying to think where she would hide them.

Carla did a great job visiting with her.  I heard them talking about her boys and her husband.  Grandma always wants to know if you have kids, what your husband does, and where you live.

I went everywhere looking for her teeth.  I looked under beds, in drawers, in the bathroom, and in every closet that she normally hides them.  I asked "What would Grandma do?" Then it hit me.  She hid them before Daddy got there.  She had to have hid them in his room.  I went to the closet, moved a suitcase, pulled out a pillow and a bedspread....and there they were, still in the cup of water she hid them in the night before.

Grandma is maybe the Best 'Hiding Teeth' Champion, but I'm the Best 'Finding Grandma's Teeth' Champion.  I also found her gold bowl and gold pitcher she has been looking for in her house.  Supposedly, a man ran into her house, grabbed the pitcher, and then ran out.  A little bit later, he ran back in and grabbed the bowl.  She called the cops on the imaginary man last week.  The cops called Daddy, and he told them it wasn't true. So, when I found them in her house, the story changed.  The man apparently returned them and hid them because she called the cops.  If this imaginary man has your other pair of teeth, Grandma, tell him to give them back.

There is a new thing that Grandma is starting to do.  I may have mentioned this in another post.  Dementia causes frustration when Grandma can't remember who people are in pictures around her house.  So the pictures, in her house that frustrate her the most, have ended up in drawers or in the closet.  My sister has said she doesn't want to end up in the closet.  I don't either.  So, grandma better get comfortable with seeing me once a week. And if I find my picture in the closet then I am coming out.....my picture that is. Lol

Finally, here we are a month later....1 new pair of teeth in mouth, 1 pair missing, 1 backup pair in my car, and then 1 pair of Grandpa's teeth going to the Art program.  

Visiting Grandpa

After leaving the reunion, we had a change of plans.  Grandma rode with Daddy to take my husband and brother-in-law to the  local airport.  My sister and I took four of the seven kids in my van to Mom's house.

Not to far out of town, we realized we were going to pass the cemetery where Grandpa was buried. We decided to stop and see his grave.  Kiley, my eldest daughter, had the camera and was going to get some pictures.  It was the first time we had been since he died in December.

While we were standing out there, Daddy and Grandma pulled up to see the grave.  They were surprised to see us there.  You could tell it meant a lot to Daddy.  Grandma was just as surprised.

Grandma talked about how Grandpa loved all the kids, which made my girls smile. She talked about what a wonderful husband Grandpa was.  We had a brief moment with our real grandma.

As quickly as the real grandma was there, within seconds she was gone.  As we were leaving she started in on how those teeth didn't fit her, they weren't hers and how someone had hers.  I told her they were a backup pair and not her normal pair.  I had to reassure her that I was coming to her house to find her real ones and I would take the backup pair back home with me. You never know when someone might need a pair of teeth. :)

Do You Have A Spare Pair of Teeth in Your Car?

Today is the day that my family has always come together on. My grandfather's family has forever met on the Saturday before Labor Day to celebrate our heritage.   Not just my immediate family, but cousins, aunts, and uncles on my grandfather's side. It is a tradition that we have continued since I can remember.  In fact, my mom has group pictures from when I was three years old at the reunion.

All week, Grandma has been keeping up with her teeth for the reunion.  She has been giving them to Daddy to keep each night.  Last night, Daddy was late getting to Grandma's.  She was already in bed and had already hid her teeth.  This morning, Daddy spent some time looking for them.  He finally just had to give up on finding them.  Mom even came over and looked in places Daddy couldn't see.  

I knew last night, when I told Daddy that I wasn't going to be able to come, that something was going to happen.  When I called mom to find out, I wasn't at all surprised that Grandma didn't have her teeth.  So, it was a good thing that I realized the teeth I had were different and were actually Grandma's teeth.  I had the spare teeth to save the day!

When I arrived, grandma was visiting with my cousin Bonnie.  You could tell she was embarrassed and nervous.  When I sat down beside her, I didn't even have to say anything about the teeth, she saw them in my hands and started thanking me for bringing them.  Just realize that three weeks ago, these were not her teeth according to her.  

She slipped them in her mouth and they were loose.  We got some Polident and she was happy.  Her entire mood changed.  

She visited, ate, and asked one question after another.  Carla, my sister, tried to answer her questions and she struggled to remember names.  I started  explaining to grandma who different ones were.  Once I told her who their parents or grandparents were, she started realizing who they were.  The funny thing about telling Grandma who was who is that I struggle to remember everyone's name too.  I know Grandpa's siblings and their kids.  It is the grandkids and great grandkids that I don't know. I was as bad as grandma on naming a few.  

I fixed her a plate full of food.  She ate every last bit of it except the chicken leg.  She started wrapping the chicken leg up in a napkin.  I told her that she didn't need to do that.  She said she wanted to save it for later.  I told her we could get more chicken later.  She finally gave in and handed over the chicken leg.   She made three trips to the desserts.  She sampled each one.  I laughed every time I saw her heading over there and tried to help her.  She really loved the vanilla cake with white icing.  She had two pieces of it.  I guess this is an upside to Grandma's dementia.  She is extremely healthy for a woman her age.  She only takes one pill for blood pressure.  She doesn't struggle with her sugar or any other ailments.  So, we let Grandma eat whatever she wants.  We do have to restrict the amount of cokes she drinks.  Sometimes, we find 2 liter cokes hidden all over the house.  Last week, she had four 2 liter bottles hid.  When I asked her why, she said, "well, lord, are you playing jokes on me?" I told her that she hid them.  She just laughed at me.  Thanks grandma!  I'm not the hide n' seek champion.  Grandma wins that prize!

My cousin Kay wanted to know, who carries a spare pair of teeth around?  My grandma has enough teeth to fill a nursing home, and I can't convince her that they are hers until she's desperate. I ride around with two pairs of teeth in a dora explorer bowl and in the console of my car.  So when grandma loses them again, I can say I have a spare pair!  

Pictures coming later.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Who Do You Belong To?

I have never thought about anyone needing more than one pair of teeth.  Simply for the fact that I don't wear false teeth.  Evidently, you need more than one pair.  Grandpa had two pair and possibly, grandma had two pair.  Not until grandma started losing them, did I realize that two pair are a good idea.

Grandma and I have gone round and round for the last month over her teeth.  I have finally convinced her to give them to me or Daddy to keep each night.  So far, she has cooperated and we have kept up with her teeth all week.  If we make it through tonight, then she will have them for the family reunion.

In the mean time, I still have the extra pair of teeth, and I got the extra pair from Daddy.  Both pairs are in the Dora Explorer Bowl.  I talked to the art teacher and she thinks they would be interesting to draw in class for her AP Art kids.  So, the teeth have a new home, but before I was going to take them to her, I realized that the pairs of teeth that I have are not the same.  One pair is definitely bigger than the other one.

So, now I have to figure out if the smaller pair is actually grandma's? 

Grandpa's on the left.  Grandma's on the right?
 I'm going to go ahead and give the larger pair to the art program.  This is probably something Grandpa would have liked.  He use to work in the school system back in the day. He was mechanic.  He always loved showing us his picture working on a bus in the yearbook.

So, keeping one pair and getting rid of one.  Just wondering if they don't belong to grandma, then who do they belong too?