As They Say, “You Have to Laugh or You’ll Cry”

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Alzheimer’s can be so random.  Sometimes it makes me smile…

I walked in the door at Mom and Dad’s today and found Mom happily unrolling the last bit of a roll of toilet paper.  She had a heap of TP in her lap. I told Dad about it, in case he was unaware, and he calmly said, “Yeah.  She does that sometimes.”

When Mom spoke her voice was so hoarse.  I said, “Mom, your voice sounds different.  Have you been shouting a lot today?”

She stared back at me angrily and hollered as loudly as she could, “NO-OOOO—OO!”

Dad managed to get her up off her chair and I managed to give her a bath. Afterwards, as I was helping her get dressed she stopped and looked at me and asked, “Are you crazy?”

“Maybe,” I answered.  “Are you?”

“Yep.  I’m crazy.”

She did pretty well with her socks today. She tried to put one on, but had problems so I helped her.  Then she really wanted to put the second sock over the first.  But that’s better than wiping her nose with it, which she often does these days.

And sometimes I tell her, “This is a sock.  It goes on your foot.  Put it on your foot please.”  And  she just obediently lays it on top of her foot and thinks she’s done.

After she was dressed she went out to the living room and sat in her rocking chair.  Dad said from the love seat, “Nina, do you want to come sit by me?”

“Do you want me to sit by you?”

“Yes,” Dad says.  “Come sit by me.”

“Okay,” Mom says cheerfully as she gets up and shuffles over to Dad.  She gets close to him and calmly says, “I’ll sit on your lap.” And she starts looking like she will.

“No!”says Dad, in a slight panic.  “You’re too heavy!  Don’t sit on my lap! Sit next to me.” He helps ease her into the right place.

Then Dad puts his arm around Mom and says, “I love you big bunches!” And in a little bit he moves his arm down and puts his hand on Mom’s far knee and Mom clasps her hands around his arm and lays her head against his shoulder and all is as sweet and peaceful as Mister Roger’s changing into his sweater and tennis shoes and singing.

I’ve learned its okay to smile at Alzheimer’s, and to laugh whenever I can.  There’s more than enough to cry about. I think God sends the smiles because we need a little comic relief. And someday in heaven maybe Mom and I will watch re-runs of all of this, and I can just picture her laughing with me.

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