Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I Love Interacting With People

What did you do yesterday? Never mind, I want to tell you about my day.

We first visited a long-time friend at a nursing home in Woodstock. She was in the “Memory Unit” which had patients with memory loss. It was sad to see our friend there. She has forgotten most all her friends and life experiences. We tried to remind her some things that we did together but she didn’t quiet gasp most of it. She did remember some things, especially things that involved her late husband. After a very short few moments she recognized us and asked for a ride back to her house. She said they told her she could go home soon, which they didn’t, but somehow I think she thinks they did. I think she hears what she wants to hear, like we all do. Sadly, we told her she would have to stay there and get better. She said nothing was wrong with her. The whole time we visited she clutched a plastic grocery bag with all her essential papers that she considered valuable, along with her purse, which she keeps with her at all times. Anna told me to get a sturdier cloth grocery tote from our car to put her stuff in. It is red, white and blue with USO in big letters. She liked it but tried to pay for it, as she so often does. We think her compulsion to pay her way was an early sign of her dementia as well as her German independence.

It was sad to see her like this – sitting on a couch in the lobby clutching her papers and being unsure what you are talking about. She used to be a math whiz, a volunteer for numerous organizations, and so meticulous about everything in her life. Now she just sits in the lobby, waiting for a ride back to her home. At least by not staying in her room all day, she is getting some interaction with other people, good, bad or indifferent. The whole time we sat talking to her in the lobby, an elderly lady was sitting beside her on the couch absorbing every word we said. She was like a dog watching a tennis game – whoever spoke got her attention. I noticed the elderly lady would make comments from time to time, like “that is interesting”. Once she said, “I’m her mother”. Once when Anna was complementing our friend about her hair, the old lady turned to me and said, “she is taller than I remember her.” I think that poor little lady wakes up in a new world every day. Guess that could be good or bad, depending on your perspective.

Our next stop for the day was the New Balance Shoe store in East Marietta. I bought a new pair of white shoes – man! They are sharp. If I was two feet taller, I would remind myself of Pat Boone with those white clodhoppers on. We went next door to Trader Joe’s. Most of the merchandize there is unique but ridiculously expensive, except the free food samples and free coffee. We bought a few things, like a jalapeño spread and a neat looking shopping bag to replace the one we gave our friend at the nursing home.

Next stop was the new K-Mart in East Marietta. First it was a K-Mart, then it was a Sears and now it is a K-Mart again. I don’t think it is as impressive as the old K-Mart used to be at that location. Next to pick-up takeout dinner from GC’s Barbecue. They always have good barbecue. I had the beef brisket this time.

Back home a neighbor and his wife dropped by to invite us to a surprised birthday party they are having. After they left, we heard another knock at the door, opening to find the 25 year old daughter from across the street standing there. She asked me to come outside, which I did. Then she chewed me out good for rescuing her nephew form the traffic the week before. I saw the little 3 year old running back and forth across the street with traffic almost hitting him. I had marched right over and demanded he go with me to the front door. I beat on their door until I could get someone to come and take the kid. Last night she told me DFACs called and threatened to take their children away because I reported it. I did not call the authorities and told her that, but added I really should have. She insisted she knew I did since it happened just after I brought the boy to the door. No I didn’t, I said, and on and on. She told me to mind my own business.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.  Remember that.  I am still waiting for the punishment from the incident on Christmas day when we noticed another house had flames leaping up the side of their house.  We called 911 and banged on their door.  At least they did appreciate our interference by ”not minding my own business”.

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